As part of the iPhone 3G launch, Apple also switched its Mac.com to me.com, which it now calls “Mobile Me”. Now it’s clear that the switch has been a fiasco. Walt Mossberg trashed it today, as did David Pogue. Apparently Apple is stonewalling as to the extent of the problems.
In particular, losing (or making inaccessible) e-mail is a big deal: people don’t like to be without e-mail, even briefly. I remember one university CIO telling me that any time e-mail went down, he’d get a call to his desk in less than 5 minutes.
Pogue has it exactly right
O.K., look: Even big companies screw up. Intel's done it. Microsoft's done it. Google's done it.I understand why MobileMe is important: Mac.com had a very low penetration among Mac users and none among Windows users, and they hope to create something that every iPhone buyer will subscribe to.
Maybe it wasn't such a hot idea for Apple to launch four enormously complex initiatives -- the iPhone 3G, the App Store, the iPhone 2.0 software update and MobileMe -- all on the same day.
Still, it seems like it would have made sense to launch the MobileMe later, after the other initiatives are out there; the others have a bigger impact on the bottom line, and MobileMe could have waited a few months until it was ready to go.
Steve Jobs has a reputation of suffering fools not at all. I wonder who will lose their job over this — and, more importantly, what lessons the company will learn about hubris.