Ballmer I do usually try to not bash any particular company, in my blog posts. Every so often I may critique somebody and I like to think my criticism is factual and constructive. This time around, though, I will allow myself to go into a full-on ranting and smirking, because the person we are talking about is Mr. Steve Ballmer, the infamous CEO of Microsoft, and the subject is - his ridiculous “predictions” about iPhone.

I mean, we all understand why a Microsoft CEO would not love iPhone. It’s also clear why he would try do diminish the importance of this revolutionary device. Still, the job of a CEO, especially a giant like Microsoft, is to be at least close to reality and not blurt random stupidities publicly.

Let’s see what Ballmer was saying just a year ago:

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” said Ballmer. “It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.
Source: ArsTechnica, April 2007.

And a year later, according to the report from Net Applications (Feb 2008), Safari on iPhone has 71% market share among mobile web-browsers in the US, leaving only 12% to the next runner-up, the child-product of Microsoft: Pocket IE.

Similarily, Canalys reports that as far as overall US “smart phone” market goes, iPhone, in just over a year, has gained 28% market share, only second to RIM (producer of Blackberry) that has 41%. If you take into account how long have the competitors been on the market (and those are wildly well-known brands like Palm, Nokia and others) and the fact that RIM has been selling its Blackberries to corporate clients in large bulks, for a while now and has tremendous head-start, the results are just amazing.

Back to Ballmer’s “2-3% forecast” . Well, what can we say? Except state the obvious and say that we can’t help feeling sorry for Microsoft when Bill Gates fully retires and the software giant is left to the mercy of Ballmer.

*smirk* (sorry, could not help it).