By John Gruber
Anders Bylund at Fool.com in March 2010, “HP and Friends Will Kill the iPad”:
I think I’ve mentioned this once or twice before, but it bears repeating until it sinks in: the Apple iPad is not unique, nor necessarily the best of breed in the media tablet sector it is spearheading. And it ain’t gonna help Apple shareholders any.
Sure, the iPad will sell a few million units to the Apple faithful, of whom there are many. Being very little else than an oversized iPod Touch, or an extra-large iPhone without the phone, iPads will appeal to the same people who already use the minuscule versions. But there’s a flash flood of competing products coming up, and the iPad’s selling points of brand name, stylish design, and familiar user experience will have a hard time overcoming what it lacks, like running multiple programs at once, presenting a full-featured Web experience with Adobe Flash support, or doing anything you can’t already get in the smaller iPod or iPhone packages.
Of course, the HP tablet he thought was going to kill the iPad wasn’t the TouchPad, but rather the Windows 7-running “slate” that Steve Ballmer heralded at CES in 2010. But it’s not like Bylund has ever done better. Here’s a bit from his self-linked “ain’t gonna help” piece, from just two months earlier, “Worst Stocks of 2010: Apple”:
You’ve heard all about stocks being “priced to perfection,” but Apple is way beyond that stage already. It’s priced through the fabled Reality Distortion Field, as though Steve Jobs will pull out iPhone-class megahits until the end of time — meaning that the iSlate will be a killer product, Macs will continue to steal market share, and the iPhone will wade ankle-deep through the blood and hydraulic oil of its many adversaries.
At the time, Apple’s stock price was around $200 a share. Since then, the “iSlate” has become a killer product, the Mac has continued to steal market share, and the iPhone 4 is the top-selling handset in the world. Today Apple’s stock closed at $366.