I’ll never forget a televised interview with Kasabian wherein the main dude said something along the lines of: “If you don’t believe you’re the best band in the world, you shouldn’t be making music.” I’m no Kasabian fan, but I loved the sentiment.
Several mobile and tablet manufacturers appear to live by that same ethos, claiming that their upcoming wares will be nothing short of The Best Thing Ever. Of course, that’s very rarely the case. In fact, it’s often very much the opposite.
In no particular order, here are the first three of six quotes that the respective mouthers would surely rather forget.
HP Touch Pad: “Better than number one”
You have to admire the balls of HP's European boss Eric Cador. Not only did he suggest in May 2011 that the HP TouchPad would topple the iPad (a feat that still hasn’t been achieved almost three years on), he invented a whole new category for a device that’s even better than the best.
“In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors, we became number one; in the tablet world we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.”
Fast-forward to August 2011, and HP had thrown in the towel on webOS, while the HP TouchPad price was cut to less than £100. From "number one plus" to bargain bin in three months. Brilliant.
Moto X: “A real breakthrough, a game-changer”
It seems almost inconceivable now, but there was a time not so long ago, prior to the Moto X launch, that the first Motorola handsets developed under Google’s watch were tipped to be something really special.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt did his bit to fan the flames of anticipation, saying: “[Motorola] have a new set of products, which are phenomenal; very, very impressive. Think of it as phones-plus.”
Similarly, Hugh Bradlow, Chief Technology Officer for Telstra, claimed that the Moto X in particular would be a "real breakthrough, a game changer that will put pressure on Samsung and Apple."
What actually materialised was a handset with so-so specs and a focus on customisation, shifting as little as 500,000 units in its first three months. The Moto X has only recently launched in the UK, but without that Moto Maker customisation. Hmm.
Consider the game thoroughly unchanged.
Windows Phone: Number one “as early as 2013”
Here’s a story that’s maturing like a fine wine, getting funnier with each month that passes.
Back in May 2011, research firm Pyramid was mocked for its prediction that Windows Phone would grab the number one spot from Android in 2015.
Better still, in response to said mocking, Pyramid came out to clarify that it actually meant by 2015; Windows Phone could propel to the top even sooner.
Senior Analyst Stela Bokun purred: “Some people have misinterpreted our statement, thinking that Windows Phone (WP) will establish its leadership in 2015. As you can see from Exhibit 1, we actually believe that this will happen much earlier – as early as 2013.”
Well, we’re now into 2014 and there are no signs that Windows Phone is anywhere near achieving first place anytime soon.
Indeed, Nokia, which is pretty much flying the Windows Phone flag solo at the moment, emphatically failed to make an impact on the Top Five Smartphone Manufacturers throughout 2013, never mind toppling Samsung - and the rest of the Android crew combined.
As much as it pains me to say it, it's probably safe to bet that Android will remain on top for the foreseeable future, and that includes 2015.
As is often the case with these features, I’ve rambled on for longer than expected, so I’ve upped the quote count from five to six, and I’ll continue next time, on Outrageous claims that came to nothing...