Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Admits He Was Wrong About the iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In a new Bloomberg interview with Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO revisited his famously dismissive remarks about the iPhone when it launched back in 2007.

    Shortly after Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone, then-Microsoft CEO Ballmer was asked what he thought of the device during a press conference.


    Speaking to interviewer Emily Chang recently, however, Ballmer praised Apple's cellular subsidy model and admitted he wished he had come up with it first.
    Ballmer also admitted it was a mistake for Microsoft not to make handsets and tablets sooner. "I would have moved into the hardware business faster and recognized that what we had in the PC, where there was a separation of chips, systems, and software, wasn't largely going to reproduce itself in the mobile world," he said.

    Steve Ballmer is asked about Apple's iPhone in 2007

    Ballmer revealed his decision to take Microsoft into the hardware business contributed to the breakdown of his relationship with co-founder Bill Gates. "There was a fundamental disagreement about how important it was to be in the hardware business," Ballmer said. "I had pushed Surface. The board had been a little reluctant in supporting it. And then things came to a climax around what to do about the phone business."

    Microsoft entered the hardware market in 2012 with the Surface RT tablet, which sold poorly and saw the company take a $900 million charge to write down the value of inventory. Since then, Microsoft's Surface range has taken off, and generated more than $4 billion in sales for the company for the fiscal year ending June 2016.

    Article Link: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Admits He Was Wrong About the iPhone
  2. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently

  3. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Ballmer was not wrong. That's the thing.
    Apple realised the truths in what Ballmer said and worked on them to make the iPhone sell. If everyone had to pay $750 or more outright for their iPhone, no one would. The whole phone plan subsidising where you get to pay off the cost of the phone along with your bill over 24 months is what really allowed the iPhone to take off.
    It was comments like Ballmer's that prompted Apple to go for the subsidised approach.

    Ballmer's lament about not entering the hardware market sooner is not really a vaid one. MS traditionally is not a hardware company, it's a software company. Apple does the hardware and software vertically integrated whole solution in one approach. An approach MS traditionally has not done.

    The interviewer is asking Ballmer - Why is MS not doing what Apple does?
    His answer is so captain obvious - Because MS is MS and not Apple.
  4. Nicksd84 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    "You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards."

    - Steve Jobs
  5. Smartass macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2012
  6. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    But does it really matter today?
  7. nviz22 macrumors 68040


    Jun 24, 2013
    One thing Microsoft knew about is making phones. I mean look today, ten people in the world use a Lumia 950. Their 20 App Store apps offer tremendous selection as well. Almost ten years later, it's not like the iPhone 7/7+ provide major profit margins or make technological progress.
  8. Goatllama macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2015
    Mountaintop Lair
    That took some serious ballmers to admit. Though I feel as though it isn't really a big surprise at this point.
  9. julesme macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2016
    San Jose
    He still attempts to shift the blame to Gates for not supporting his push into hardware. It sounds like he might still be in denial or just have trouble accepting responsibility.
  10. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Aug 19, 2006
    iPhones are still $700. You just don't pay it up front anymore.
  11. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Still didn't really admit he was wrong about it, did he...

    This method of apologizing/admitting error, where you try to change what you were saying to something that later turns out to actually be right and pretend you were trying really hard against all odds to get to that...

    What was the percentage of executives that qualified as sociopaths again?
  12. 8692574 Suspended


    Mar 18, 2006
    Well there's nothing else he could do , I mean it is history now so of course he has to admit he was wrong.

    I don't expect nothing different from him, i mean apart from him dacing around .....Developers developers developers....
  13. Smartass macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2012
    Doesnt really. He, personaly, wiped off microsoft from mobile market. These days windows phones out in the real world are rare.
    This guy made so much damage to Microsoft, it is trully unbelievable how he failed to see the rising phone market and new technologies with it, yet he still mocked it made fun out of it. Probably the biggest fiasco in High-tech industry in years...
  14. Aetles macrumors regular


    Nov 13, 2002
    He sure was wrong about the keyboard, though.
  15. Euphemia macrumors newbie


    Jun 17, 2016
    Back in 2000, I bought my Nokia 8250 on a phone subsidy in Australia. Phone subsidies have been a common practice for a very long time. I'm not sure why Apple is getting the credit for it.
  16. weave macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2003
    I do believe he got it wrong this time ... again.

    The first iPhone was not subsidized. It cost $499 or $599 for 4GB or 8GB.

    In later years they dropped it to $199/$299/$399 with a contract.
  17. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Was anyone really sitting around waiting to see if he truly thought he was wrong? Pretty obvious he was for quite some time now.
  18. yanksfan114 macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2011
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there carrier subsidiaries well before the iPhone? I didn't think that was an Apple innovation.
  19. FactVsOpinion macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2012
    Actually, he was wrong.
  20. weave macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2003
    Another thing he was wrong about is that he said it was the most expensive phone in the market place at the time. Wrong. I vividly remember at the time I spent $750 for an unlocked Nokia N95 phone. That thing was a beauty -- at the time, and I didn't buy the first iPhone because the N95 had a 5 megapixel camera with flash and the first iPhone had a crappy 2 MP no-flash camera.
  21. Amacfa macrumors 65816


    May 22, 2009
    Actually he wasnt wrong or right
  22. nviz22 macrumors 68040


    Jun 24, 2013
    The SE starts at $399 US at Apple Stores, so people can get a premium experience at a lower price point. Plus people can get financing for them too.
  23. 6836838 Suspended

    Jul 18, 2011
    Nokia and Ericsson were doing subsidised carrier contract phones in the U.K. years before Apple. They didn't invent that model!
  24. profets macrumors 68040

    Mar 18, 2009
    Yeah, from what I've read carrier subsidies go back decades, essentially to help make early cellular phone (which I think cost in the thousands of dollars) even remotely affordable.
  25. Moorepheus macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2012
    Niagara Falls, NY

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