iPhone Jeopardy Rerun: Ballmer, Lazaridis, and Colligan Edition!

This. Is. iPhone JEOPARDY!... Judges Round!

Way back on March 14 we covered some of the bold, bodacious pontifications the CEOh-no's of Microsoft, RIM, and Palm had made about the iPhone. Quick-on-the-buzzer as always, it's time once again to go back to our judges and see how they did!

"Why We're Not Worried about the iPhone" for 100

Ed Colligan:

"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

Daily Double-Talk

Steve Ballmer:

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Final Jeopardy!

"Mike Lazaridis":

"Talk -- all I'm [hearing] is talk about [the iPhone's chances in Enterprise]. I think it's important that we put this thing in perspective." [...] "Apple's design-centric approach [will] ultimately limit its appeal by sacrificing needed enterprise functionality. I think over-focus on one blinds you to the value of the other." [...] "Apple's approach produced devices that inevitably sacrificed advanced features for aesthetics."

And to top it all off:

THERE’S a reason that R.I.M. is averse to the iPhone’s glass pad. “I couldn’t type on it and I still can’t type on it, and a lot of my friends can’t type on it,” says Mike Lazaridis, R.I.M.’s co-chief executive and technological visionary. “It’s hard to type on a piece of glass.”


10 Million iPhones sold in 2008, almost 7 million in Q4 alone. More units of a single SKU moved than all RIM SKUs combined, and more than (we think!) WinMob licenses as well. 200,000,000 App Store downloads, 5500 Apps available, and now being copied by Microsoft, Google, and RIM. Form factor and touch-centricity copied by both Microsoft-OEMs and RIM (who's also introducing a no-keyboard Blackberry Storm!). And Palm? Er... Anyone heard from Palm lately?

And the Winner Is!

None of the players today.

For the Pundit Round, be sure to check out Daring Fireball's awesome set of links, and MacDailyNew's Compendium of iPhone Naysayers.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

Felix says:

Do you really hate all things non'iphone that much Rene?

ken fegore says:

Where's your sense of humour?
There's been, and still is, a lot of fud spread about the iPhone, certainly now and again we should be able to have a laugh at those who so arrogantly wrote it off.

Rene Ritchie says:

No, I love all of them, everything innovative and cool. And when they give me comedy gold, I love that too! :)
(My last phone was a Treo 680, before that, WinMo)

The Reptile says:

I see nothing wrong with b-slapping the competition for talking smack worthy of this election cycle especially after the iPhone's numbers not only met expectations but went beyond what the competition has done.
While were on the past any going to doubt Gene Muster whose analyst report of the iPhone supply chain concluded that Apple was going to produce close to 50 million iPhones in the 3G production run. That means we're only 1/7th of the way through the run so there's a whole lot more to come.
Lastly, it's not game over yet. I trust that the more robust applications are headed our way soon. The SDK may make for easy development but is still only been out less than a year. Plus, you know Apple is nowhere near done innovating. I'm not saying that the competition is done by any stretch in fact I'm hoping that they continue to innovate. But the initial iPhone was a beta. The current device is more of what they wanted the hardware to be. Next comes all of the cool stuff on the roadmap that are possible when you've matured your platform.

Bill says:

Reality check:
Palm's comment - no one cares.
Microsoft's comment - I suppose they could argue
that it is still early days and
Apple hasn't actually achieved much
share of the overall phone market,
and one springloaded quarter (don't
forget that Apple pretty much stopped
shipping during the preceding quarter)
that rode the new product euphoria
won't win the war, but Ballmer was pretty
RIM - I think RIM's comments are still accurate.
Apple has very little enterprise success.
That is still true. The security on an
iphone simply wasn't designed for business.
And as for the "typing on glass" comment,
RIM seems to be putting its innovation
where it's mouth is. The new tactile
Storm keyboard rocks and typing on an
iphone still sucks.

scottb says:

LOL at the article and some of the replies here.
Anyone actually IN the enterprise knows what it costs to supply users with a Blackberry - it is HUGE.
When you account for the server, support, and licenses, it's incredible how much those cost per user, per year.
OTOH, if you're using Exchange - which is of course what we're talking about here - Active Sync is already on the servers, and requires no more hardware/people/licenses.
Yes, Active Sycn and the iPhone vs Blackberry on a BES with Exchange is not a 1:1 perfect match up.
The iPhone has some shortcomings.
For many, they won't matter though - the ability to send meeting requests and "out of office" are the two biggies, but so far, many who are testing in our beta program don't care.
I know these costs and they're insane.
RIM better be worried - the cost of an iPhone is very appealing, and as the software matures, you WILL see the iPhone making dents in that "closed" model as well.
In parting - some of you need to get a sense of humor and learn more about the subject matter.
Fact is - ALL of those bOObs got the iPhone and Apple wrong...they're statements are funny and I'm glad Rene posted this.

avt says:

This is a very funny article and anybody who doesn't see the humor is blind. People don't realize how much hate the iPhone gets, and when something like this is posted, it's very enjoyable.

johnb says:

Very interesting points. I love to see innovation no matter where it comes from. It helps the marketplace and gives more, better choices for consumers and forces companies to get their asses in gear.
Does any of those facts pertaining to Apple help YOU in any way other than feeling better about the purchase you made? As long as the said device does what YOU want who cares about the company right?

frog says:

I'm able to type as quickly on the iPhone as my old BB Curve. More accurate too, thanks to auto-correction. I need push email, calendar, and contacts. The BB did that very well, and with it's full HTML email - the iPhone does it even better!

Jack says:

Frog - good for you, but I have observed
many people trying both and the iphone
really is poor at email and typing for
the overwhelming majority of people.
I don't understand why anyone would buy
an iphone when they can get all the
good stuff in an ipod Touch and then
carry a Blackberry or another phone
for their phone and email.

scottb says:

@ Jack,
You're kidding right? Not about the typing part - I can't type as well on an iPhone as a BB - but the rest?
Carrying two devices is what nerds used ot do in IT.
No thank you.
The one thing I've heard is going to be a future option is to turn-off auto correction in typing, and I can't wait.
I hate it.

Rene Ritchie says:

I've said this many times: I has Treos before the iPhone, and WinMo before that. I hated typing on them to the point that I avoided it at all costs.
My mushy fingers kept sliding off the tiny keys and it was a nightmare. When I busted my wrist, I couldn't put enough pressure to type at all.
iPhone was like an awakening for me. I can type faster and much more easily on the iPhone than any previous mobile device. And I could even type with my busted wrist, since no pressure was needed on a hard little tic tac key.
I just tried the Bold and tried out the Javelin (thanks Kevin!), and while they're gorgeous devices, I still find hard keyboards less productive for me personally.
Luckily, we all have a great range of devices and the most important thing any consumer could ever have: choice!