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The Cell Phone Of The Future...Probably

I have no idea how I came across this article this morning – a commentary piece that ran on Bloomberg.com in early 2007. In retrospect, it reads like a humor piece. See, in January 2007 Matthew Lynn made a series of speculations about how the then-recently announced iPhone – from that little upstart gadget company called Apple – would fall flat on it’s figurative face.

I’ll let Lynn’s words do the explaining, since he seems to have stuck both feet and most of his legs into his mouth back in 2007:

“The big competitors in the mobile-phone industry such as Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc. won’t be whispering nervously into their clamshells over a new threat to their business….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.”

It gets better. Lynn goes on to claim that Apple was too late to the phone-party. The company wouldn’t be able to foster proper relationships with carriers – “Apple has never been good at working with other companies. If it knew how to do that, it would be Microsoft Corp.” (that particular line almost sent coffee shooting out of my nose). And Lynn goes on to profess a collection of other, painfully wrong predictions about the impending failure of Apple and iPhone.

Now, I know hindsight is 20/20 and we’re all guilty of completely missing the mark when it comes to anticipating outcomes. But this guy steps in it so deep that it’s hard not to notice his absurd observations – mainly that he has some weird, misplaced fascination with battery charger weights and the infallibility of some company called Nokia (I think they’re still around – chasing Apple around with smart phones of their own. At the very least, the name sounds familiar /end sarcasm).

So, Matthew Lynn wrote an article for Bloomberg in 2007 where he categorically deconstructs any chance of Apple succeeding with the launch of the then-new iPhone.

Forgive the guy? Sure. I mean everyone is entitled to his opinion and I’m sure that he has incorporated this embarrassing misstep as a learning experience into his career of writing opinion. Wait….What’s that? Matthew Lynn has a Twitter account? Let’s take a look and see what Mr. Lynn is up to.

In the last 30 days, he’s posted three times about either the impending doom of Apple as a company or the risk of investing in the company. That’s like the guy whose most hated team is winning by 50 runs in 9th inning with one out left and he is still holding out hope for an embarrassing loss.

I’m no financial writer like Lynn is (he still writes for WSJ and Money Week, according to his bio) and I’m not picking on the guy, but read the 2007 piece about the iPhone. Maybe even read in on your iPhone for maximum snarkiness. Maybe in some alternate universe, Lynn was right and there are a bunch of people talking on clamshell Nokias, listening to music on their Zunes as they ride Segways to Borders while 1st gen iPhones sit in junk drawers.

But for now, in 2012, I’m just going to follow him on Twitter – probably from my iPhone 4…maybe even my iPad 2 – and try not to shoot coffee from my nose.

Image: Telephone from BigStock