Al Ries must be keeping his fingers crossed.
Before the launch, he had declared that the iPhone was was "going to be a major disappointment" not in the activation department mind you, but because it was technology going off in the wrong direction. He believed that technology that took the path of divergence would succeed as it had in the past, but this new gizmo on the 'convergence' was bound to fail.
With all respect to Mr. Ries, I don't think it's good to predict the future on the past. Not with Apple, the company that's defied going with the flow. It's got to where it is by not been fixated on the rear view mirror. Its Graphical User Interface was its way of sticking the middle finger at the geeky DOS world. It's
A smart phone is a convergent phenomenon. I don't have a problem with that. It happens to look like a phone, but it is anything but. Even before the iPhone, we were able to do a Google search, maintain contact databases, use text messaging and email, and play music on these convergent devices. Millions of users didn't think it was headed in the wrong direction. Why? Because the interface simplified their lives.
If you've been awed by the iPhone's stunning multi-touch interface, Jeff Hann's multi-touch sensing demo will give you a glimpse of where we are headed. It's not on a phone. But it's guaranteed to blow your mind!