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Ballmer: iPhone has 'no chance'

updated 01:45 pm EDT, Mon April 30, 2007

Ballmer on iPhone

The iPhone has no hope of gaining a true foothold in the cellphone marketplace, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The company head told an interviewer at the USA Today that, as with computers, future control of the mobile handset business would primarily depend on software influence rather than hardware. Apple's insistence on attaching its code to a premium device could prevent it from getting any more than a small percentage of the world's cellphone user base, Ballmer predicted.

"Would I trade 96% of the market for 4% of the market? I want to have products that appeal to everybody," he said. "We'll get a chance to go through this [Apple versus Microsoft debate] again in phones and music players. 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."

He also suggested that Apple might be creating too narrow a focus by stressing media playback on the iPhone instead of the possibilities of a general operating system such as Windows Mobile. The heavily-rumored Zune phone was again dismissed as impossible and against the company's mobile product philosophy.

"We wouldn't define our phone experience just by music. A phone is really a general purpose device," he summarized. "You want to make telephone calls, you want to get and receive messages, text, e-mail, whatever your preference is."

The iPod's success in the world of strictly entertainment-oriented handhelds was downplayed. Apple "got out early" with a good mix of media player hardware and software, according to Ballmer, but there was still an opportunity for the Zune line to have its own success. Its sales campaign would be "less edgy" and appeal to more buyers, he said. The remark appeared to ignore the company's existing campaigns, which have included Adult Swim and graffiti-themed limited runs of the player.

Microsoft currently holds a small but substantial portion of the cellphone OS business, which is currently dominated by variants on the open-source Symbian. The Zune's share has largely remained locked at roughly 9 percent of the US hard disk-based media player market since its introduction in November 2006.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    LOLLLLLL!!!

    Baldhead should stick to monkey boy dance routines. That fat f*** couldn't find a clue if you force fed it down his throat.

  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    0

    Not again Ballmer!

    Once again Ballmer has widely opened his mouth and promptly sutck his foot directly into it.

    What a big bafoon!

    You can tell they are getting more and more nervous in Redmond as the iPhone launch gets closer and closer!

  1. macnorway2000

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006

    0

    Whatever he's smoking...

    ...can I have some? Please?

  1. libraryguy

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jul 2002

    0

    ha!

    "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%"

    Okay, so why don't you? Windows mobile or even MS software doesn't even come close to being on 60% of 1.3 billon phones shipped.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    repeat after me

    ha. ha. ha.

    hey how's that iPod killer named Zune doing, Ballmer?

    Ballmer should be renamed Baghdad Bob, after the Iraqi minister of defense who kept insisting that Iraqi military was defeating the coalition forces.

    Better yet he should seek a position with the Bush administration where his kind of reality distortion field and ability to shamelessly lie is a prerequisite.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    best quote

    ""We'll get a chance to go through this [Apple versus Microsoft debate] again in phones and music players. 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."

    Yes, Ballmer, THEY MAY MAKE A LOT OF MONEY. What a f****** douchebag.

  1. phillymjs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000

    +1

    Windows Mobile SUCKS

    My company-provided cell phone is a Sprint phone running WM5, and it is a complete piece of c***. I have nothing installed on it besides what it had out of the box, and it freezes all the time. Best part is, you don't even know it's catatonic until you try to use it and it won't dial out. Then you reboot it and find out you missed important calls and/or emails one weeken I was on call and didn't get alerts that servers went down because of that.

    The iPod does a few things well, rather than a lot of things half-assed-- that's it's appeal. That's exactly what I want in my phone, too, and apparently I am not alone.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    pure spin

    Ballmer is just moving the goalposts and making excuses, taking the position that it's not worth it unless you can capture 80% of the market. How f****** ridiculous. If Ballmer really meant that then he should be fired immediately. Of course everyone who knows anything knows that he is just spreading FUD... poorly.

    By the way Ballmer, isn't XBox subsidized? DOUCHE.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    if he really believes it

    if he really believes his spin, then let him put his money where his mouth is: go short on AAPL. I am certain at least 10% of the current stock price is predicated on expectations of strong iPhone demand.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    of course

    Ballmer will say that it's better to have 80% of the software than 4% of the hardware. Microsoft is primarily in the software business. What little hardware they make is a dud (Zune) or a money-loser (XBox).

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