Luckily, for those of us you who are iPhone toters, IBM never acquired Apple, and some of you, I'm sure, remember PalmPilots with fondness. So, in the grain of BNET1, here's one quote that reflected the consensus on Apple in '96, coming from a Forrester analyst: "Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It's so classic. It's so sad." [see a related BusinessWeek cover image from February of the same year]. Now if that's not irony, then I don't know what is.
The reality: That decade-old quote couldn't be further from the truth. From an $11 billion company to a market value of over $150 billion, Apple has responded to the mid-90s journalists-who-cried-wolf with a resounding: "Howd'yalikethemapples?" In fact, Apple's best successes seemed to spawn from its worst failures. Remember Lisa? A failure, yes, but the iMac later made up for it. Newton, too. The iPhone is essentially Newton's phoenix that arose from the ashes on steroids.
What I'm really looking forward to is finding out how the iRack will fare. Never heard of it? YouTube comes to the rescue.
iPhone Newton image by oskay [cc, 2.0]