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Apple maps and 8 other times Apple got it wrong

Music subscription services? Bankrupt, sez Jobs.

UNDER THE LEADERSHIP of Steve Jobs, Apple introduced industry-shaking products like the iPod, iMac, iPhone and iPad — devices that have collectively changed how we consume media today.

But Apple didn’t always get it right.

From mocking larger tablet-sized smartphones (a.k.a. “phablets”) to saying the iPad’s screen couldn’t get any smaller and still be usable, there are plenty of times where Apple has been too quick to speak in the past.

Here are some of the most notable instances.

1. Steve Jobs thought Apple and IBM would emerge as the only computer suppliers

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“In terms of supplying the computer itself, it’s coming down to Apple and IBM,” said Jobs in a 1985 interview with Playboy. “And I don’t think there are going to be a lot of third- and fourth-place companies, much less sixth- or seventh-place companies. Most of the new, innovative companies are focusing on the software. I think there will be lots of innovation in the areas of software but not in hardware.”

2. Jobs thought music subscription services were “bankrupt”

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In a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone, Steve Jobs was highly critical of subscription music services at the time, like Rhapsody.

“People don’t want to buy their music as a subscription … they’re going to want to buy downloads,” said Jobs. ”The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model, and it might not be successful.”

Clearly, Jobs failed to anticipate the popularity of both Pandora and Spotify, an oversight which caused Apple to enter the streaming service late in the game with its iTunes Radio and eventual Beats acquisition earlier this year.

3. Steve Jobs thought iTunes would only sell music, not movies.

Alicia Keys & Steve Jobs Online Music PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

When Steve Jobs was asked ”Do you see an iTunes movie store?” during a 2003 Rolling Stone interview, he replied, “We don’t think that’s what people want. A movie takes forever to download – there’s no instant gratification.”

Fast-forward to 2013, when Apple announced, “iTunes users have downloaded more than one billion TV episodes and 380 million movies from iTunes to date, and they are purchasing over 800,000 TV episodes and over 350,000 movies per day.”

4. Apple didn’t think people would want to watch videos on their iPods.

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“I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen,” said Jobs during a 2003 interview with Walt Mossberg. “To paraphrase Bill Clinton, ‘It’s the music, stupid, it’s the music!’”

Apple apparently decided quite the opposite two years later, introducing an iPod with 2.7-inch screen that could display photos and play videos.

5. Apple thought people weren’t interested in tablets

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In a 2003 interview with Walt Mossberg, Jobs said, “There are no plans to make a tablet. It turns out people want keyboards … We look at the tablet, and we think it is going to fail.”

Interestingly enough, Apple was likely already looking into tablets at this time; in fact, the company began designing the iPad before the iPhone.

6. Trying to convince people the iPhone 4 didn’t have an antenna issue

Technology Stock Dominic Lipinski Dominic Lipinski

While Apple was reluctant to admit any fault in the matter, some iPhone 4 models were affected by what would later be known as “Antennagate.”

By bridging the connection between the phone’s two separate antennas — for example, how lefties would usually hold an iPhone, with their palms and thumb squeezing against the left portion of the handset — the iPhone 4 would see a dramatic loss of cell signal, leading to dropped calls.

Steve Jobs initially suggested that people “Just avoid holding it in that way.” Apple later admitted there was an issue with the antenna’s design, however, eventually giving out free bumper cases to any iPhone 4 owner.

7. Apple used to mock so-called “phablet” phones that were bigger than the iPhone.

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During an Apple press conference in 2010 that focused on squashing the “Antennagate” scandal, Steve Jobs famously mocked larger phones, saying that other companies avoided connectivity issues by creating phones so big “you can’t get your hand around it.”

Jobs then went on to say, “No one is going to buy that.”

Of course, Apple eventually realized that many people wanted a larger iPhone. In 2012, it released the iPhone 5 with a 3.99-inch display — bigger than the 3.5-inch display on all previous models — and last month, the company released the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

8. Apple thought its own Maps app would be better than Google Maps

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Google Maps was the default maps and navigation application in every iPhone since the very first model in 2007. But for the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, Apple decided to ditch Google and create its own Maps app, having previously acquired several different mapping companies. Unfortunately, the app was filled with bugs and accuracy issues, eventually leading to the ouster of Scott Forstall, the iOS chief at the time. CEO Tim Cook also issued a public apology on the company’s website.

Apple has greatly improved its native Maps app since then, but it still has yet to catch up to Google Maps. After a few more acquisitions in 2013, we might see a much-improved Maps app in next year’s iOS 9.

9. Apple said its 10-inch iPad was “the minimum size required.”

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“This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion,” Jobs said during a 2010 Apple earnings call, referring to competitors debuting 7-inch tablets.

“Well, one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference. It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size.”

“Apple’s done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff, ” Jobs continued. “There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.”

Two years later, Apple announced the 7.9-inch iPad Mini.

Read: Soon after iOS 8 launch, Apple is already working on three major updates for it>

Read: The iPhone 6 got publicly dissed by the president of Turkey>

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