The iPhone Will be a Failure

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 1 min read

Jon Erlichman tweeting a photo of an AdvertisingAge article from 2007:

Every Best Buy and Circuit City is filled with a host of other divergence devices that have been enormously successful: the digital camera, the plasma TV, the wireless e-mail device, the personal video recorder, the GPS navigation device. What convergence device has been a big success? Not many, although there have been a lot of convergence failures.

The article talks about "divergence" and "convergence" devices, arguing that successes we'd seen in tech had been in "divergent" devices that are dedicated to specific tasks rather than "convergence" devices that bring many things together.

The list of successful "divergent" devices is fun to see today since all of those (minus the TV) have been completely decimated by the iPhone. The benefit of hindsight lets us all look back on this and feel smug, but as someone who has written predictions that turned out to be wrong myself, I have some sympathy for imperfect track records.