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Oh, Steve…

August 13th, 2014

Steve Ballmer, in 2007, when the iPhone was introduced:

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

In a video interview, he said essentially the same thing, concluding, “Let’s see how the competition goes.” That seven years ago.

From a report on mobile devices released today:

net activation by platform: iOS=67&, Android=32%, Windows Phone=1%

And that’s for enterprise, traditionally a market dominated by Microsoft. In the video interview, Ballmer said it wouldn’t appeal to business customers “because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.”

Poor Ballmer; you’ve got this other Steve, Steve Jobs, who now is secure in his reputation as a tech visionary, while Ballmer’s claim to fame will probably be as “Monkey Boy.”

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  1. Troy
    August 14th, 2014 at 10:06 | #1

    TBH, I didn’t think people had this much taste back in 2007, for the iPhone to be so dominant so long.

    The Mac kinda fizzled in the 1990s, and I thought iPhone would follow a similar arc.

    I guess phones are different — there wasn’t any pre-existing platform lock enjoyed by anyone, 2007 for smartphones was just like 1977 was for PCs. No app penalty going with Apple vs. Windows, unlike the 1990s.

    Apple was first-mover with iTunes Store (for media) and the very innovative AppStore in mid-2008, so THEY were the ones establishing the platform lock early.

    Apple’s done a good job keeping ahead of the industry with their hardware; going to retina wasn’t obvious or easy (not that my old eyes can see the difference between 160ppi and 320ppi!).

    And subsidized phone plans have reduced the price premium, not that there was that much of one.

    But in the 1980s, going with Macs vs. Windows was a serious commitment in cash. That was their biggest mistake, shooting for $5000 – $8000 system sales instead of $2000-$3000 system sales. This militated against the Mac platform really getting deep roots vs. Windows. Once Windows got semi-usable in 1990, Apple’s price premium was harder for most people to justify. Plus Windows software started attracting people away from the Mac, too.

    Microsoft so utterly dropped the ball wrt mobile it’s really tough to understand. The iPhone reveal was January 2007, and it took them until late 2012 to evolve off of Windows CE completely.

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