Very timely Cringely reality check; read the full post (including the depressing bottom line)
Here's a guy who is head of the largest telephone company in America and its largest mobile phone company. He has a five-year iPhone exclusive giving AT&T the number one selling U.S. smart phone and a huge generator of primo subscribers mainly poached from other carriers. Christmas is a month away and 1-2 million Americans have been planning to give -- or hoping to get -- an iPhone. So what does the guy do? He lets it slip that next year Apple will release a faster iPhone that will make the existing model obsolete. The only impact this can have on current iPhone sales is to stop them in their tracks, unless Apple offers a free 3G upgrade, which believe me they never intended to offer and may not.
So what's up? Was it a simple slip? Or is the guy so out of touch with reality that he doesn't realize that with a few words he has probably deferred -- maybe forever -- at least a million new customers worth to Wall Street at least $1 billion in market cap for his company?
I don't think Stephenson's statement was by accident and I don't think he is out of touch with reality. I think, instead, he was sending a $1 billion message to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.