El iPhone cumple 10 años. Que pensaban de él cuando se lanzó?

Hoy hace 10 años salió al mercado el primer iPhone. El que hoy sabemos es uno de los dispositivos más importantes y revolucionarios en la historia de la humanidad, el que dio vida a la revolución móvil, el que le abrió el mercado al multitouch, el que transformó para siempre el diseño de los “teléfonos inteligentes”, el que cambió nuestra sociedad y nuestras vidas. 

Hoy, con mas de Mil Millones de dispositivos vendidos en estos 10 años sabemos que el iPhone fue un éxito. Hoy cuando casi la mitad de la gente en el planeta tiene un smartphone, sabemos el impacto que tuvo el dispositivo. Hoy, cuando los fabricantes aún hablan de los dispositivos que lanzan al mercado como el “iPhone-killer”, sabemos que esta es la vara con la que se miden todos los teléfonos inteligentes.  

Pero, se ha puesto a pensar qué decían los periodistas, bloggers, pundits y expertos cuando lo vieron por primera vez? En esta celebración de sus 10 años busqué varios de los artículos publicados en su momento, evaluando el iPhone original. Aquí están los apartes más interesantes:

A Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) le pareció que a pesar de algunas fallas el iPhone era una computador de mano revolucionario – despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions”.

Para David Pogue (New York Times) el secreto estaba en el software y en el multitouch – “As it turns out, much of the hype and some of the criticisms are justified. The iPhone is revolutionary; it’s flawed. It’s substance; it’s style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones… But the bigger achievement is the software. It’s fast, beautiful, menu-free, and dead simple to operate

Edward C. Braig (USA Today) se enfocó en lo que NO estaba – The most remarkable thing about iPhone is what’s missing: a physical dialing keypad and/or full qwerty, or traditional, keyboard. Instead, either a virtual keypad or keyboard shows up on the iPhone screen, depending on what you are doing — entering a Web address, for instance, or banging out a text message… No stylus is provided. Your fingers control everything; you “tap,” “flick” and “pinch.””

La pantalla fue lo que enamoróKent German y Donald Bell (CNN)“We knew that it measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.46 inch deep, but it still felt smaller than we expected when we finally held it. In comparison, it’s about as tall and as wide as a Palm Treo 755p, but it manages to be thinner than even the trend-setting Motorola Razr. It fits comfortably in the hand and when held to the ear, and its 4.8 ounces give it a solid, if perhaps weighty, feel. We also like that the display is glass rather than plastic.”

Y Jason Snell (MacWorld) vaticinó que el iPhone lo cambiaría todo – “The iPhone is the real deal. It’s a product that has already changed the way people look at the devices they carry in their pockets and purses. After only a few days with mine, the prospect of carrying a cellphone with me wherever I go no longer fills me with begrudging acceptance, but actual excitement”

Pero claro, no a todo el mundo le gustó

No todos los entendieron. No a todos les gustó. Y muchos pronosticaron su fracaso: 

Gizmodo – “The real elephant in the room is the fact that I just spent $600 on my iPhone and it can’t do some crucial functions that even $50 handsets can. I’m talking about MMS. Video recording. Custom ringtones. Mass storage

TechCrunch – “That virtual keyboard will be about as useful for tapping out emails and text messages as a rotary phone. Don’t be surprised if a sizable contingent of iPhone buyers express some remorse at ditching their BlackBerry when they spend an extra hour each day pumping out emails on the road.

AdAge” The iPhone will be a major disappointment… An iPod is a divergence device; an iPhone is a convergence device. There’s a big difference between the two”

David Platt (BlogSpot)“The iPhone is going to fail because its design is fundamentally flawed. The designers and technophiles who encouraged development of the iPhone have fallen into the trap of all overreaching hardware and software designers; thinking that their users are like themselves”

Bloomberg – “The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant.”

MarketWatchThe problem here is that while Apple can play the fashion game as well as any company, there is no evidence that it can play it fast enough. These phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be passé within 3 months. There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive.”

The Street – “Beyond all the iHype and iMania, let’s get one thing clear. The iPhone isn’t the future. It isn’t a revolutionary mobile device ushering in a new era. At its heart, this fancy-looking new product is very old fashioned.” 

Es problema es claro: competir con el status quo no es fácil. Visualizar algo mas allá de lo que conocemos es complejo. Y predecir un cambio tan radical como el que proponía el iPhone era prácticamente imposible. 

Y sin embargo, aqui estamos 10 años después. 

Samir Estefan

Economista de la Universidad de los Andes, MBA de Thunderbird School de Global Management. Consultor Empresarial en temas de Transformación Digital y Software Asset Management. Conferencista Internacional especializado en temas asociados con Tecnología, Disrupción Digital, Ciudadanía Digital, Democratización Tecnológica y la 4ta Revolución Industrial. Co-fundador de Softimiza.Co y TECHcetera.Co, Inversionista Angel, Mentor de startups de base tecnológica Más info en: www.SamirEstefan.com