TBT: Ten Years Ago TechCrunch Predicted That the ‘iPhone Will Bomb’


On this day 10 years ago, the world was introduced to Steve Job‘s iPhone 1. It was unlike anything on the market at the time and debuted to mostly positive reviews — but like all things — it had its haters. And that hate really hasn’t aged very well.

Of all the critics, few were more vociferous than Seth Porges. Porges penned a review for TechCrunch literally titled, “We Predict The iPhone Will Bomb.’

We predict he likely regrets that call.

Porges started off his critique by saying the iPhone was doomed from the start, literally his first problem was with the release date. He believed “the product was almost certainly rushed to market before Apple’s engineers would have liked” and would result in multiple bugs.

He then listed his problems individually, starting with the glass screen. The front of the phone being all glass was a new idea for phones, but change isn’t for everyone.

“So when Mr. Customer gets a shiny new iPhone and sticks it in his back pocket (after all, that’s where he’s kept EVERY phone since the StarTAC), don’t be surprised if he finds that glass screen can’t sustain all 200 pounds of him,” Porges said.

While the sleek, glass screen is still around today, (and still as fragile as a peacock) it doesn’t seem to have deterred the products now 700,000,000 users.

The iPhone also unveiled the novel idea of a virtual keyboard, but Porges took exception to this as well — with a line that may one day be etched on his tombstone.

“That virtual keyboard will be about as useful for tapping out emails and text messages as a rotary phone.”

Now fair is fair, despite his obvious hatred for the phone, Porges did grudgingly concede that the headphone jack and the music capabilities of the device would be useful. — but that seems like thin soup today.

At root, Porges found the iPhone to be a glorified, expensive iPod (remember those), and disliked the need to spend more money to get the phone capabilities to work. “It isn’t difficult to imagine folks who have no real need for the phone aspect looking for a nice web-browsing widescreen iPod,” Porges said.

On his website Porges calls himself  a “science and tech expert” —  but if his iPhone call is any indication, that title may be a bit ill-considered.

Ten years and six generations of iPhones later, few would deny that that the Apple device has radically transformed how we live and communicate.

One can only wonder what phone Porges is using.

[image via screengrab]

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