It prompted me to go back and see where the stocks prices of Apple (AAPL) and BlackBerry were on Jan. 9, 2007. I realized that, since that intro, Apple's stock price has increased by 10 times, while BlackBerry's has declined 93%.
Some would say that was a no-brainer "pairs trade." Except it wasn't -- at least not until maybe 2011, when I recall it gaining popularity. In fact, BlackBerry's stock hit an all-time high on market cap of $120 billion in July 2007 -- six months after the iPhone introduction.
So there are many lessons to be learned from this pairs trade:
-- It's very easy not to realize how big some cataclysmic product is going to be when it first drops in our lap. It seems obvious now that the iPhone started a mobile revolution, but there were many doubters at the time. This leads to the second point...
-- It's very easy to overestimate the power of current market leaders. BlackBerry had won the enterprise customers. Its services revenue was lucrative. The iPhone seemed like a toy to many. The iPhone would use up all the carriers' spectrum. The price was too high. There were an abundance of reasons to doubt the iPhone would be adopted.
-- The iPhone was the right product from the right company at the right time. Mobile was just about to take off. We didn't know that in 2007, but Apple did. It got its product out there and then iterated. We trusted Apple to get it right over time. We were willing to accept it in the early days when the experience wasn't perfect. It reminds me of people complaining about the Apple Watch today. Or asking why Apple isn't coming out with an electric car yet. Apple obviously believes the timing is now right for a watch, but not yet for a car.