In the technology world, bold predictions abound, and they should. Placing big bets in one direction or another is how this industry works. Some pundits try to make educated guesses about where tech is headed, while others prognosticate in reaction to disruptive technologies that could boost (or threaten) their business.
As we all know, foretelling what’s going to happen in 5, 10 or 30 years is pretty much impossible, but some predictions are so spectacularly wrong that they should be immortalized. That’s why I’ve selected these gems from some of the biggest names, publications and research firms to present the 10 worst tech predictions of all time. A couple of these timelines haven’t yet passed, but I feel comfortable predicting them as total fails now.
“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO (April 2007)
Back in 2007, the world was in a frenzy over the iPhone (aka the Jesus Phone), which combined a widescreen iPod with a full-fledged browser and introduced the masses to multi-touch displays. Steve Jobs claimed that the iPhone was five years ahead of the competition, but the head of Microsoft wasn’t having it.
In April of that year Steve Ballmer told USA Today that “there’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Ballmer cited the iPhone’s relatively high $499 subsidized price as one of the reasons the device would flop. Fast forward to 2013 and the iPhone commands 42 percent of U.S. smartphone market share and 13.1 percent worldwide.
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