In this interview about his time at Bell Labs and their ability to "invent" the future, Prof. Brian Kernighan (the famous computer scientist involved in the development and popularisation of the computer language C and UNIX) argues that he and his colleagues at Bell Labs were not very good at forecasting and nor was anyone else.
He illustrates this by referring to a supposed McKinsey & Co. report that, he claims, told AT&T (the parent company of Bell Labs) that there was no market for mobile phones:
[05:33] Prof. Brian Kernighan: I think that's against something people didn't predict. There is this famous story that a consulting company in the United States - McKinsey - did a study for AT&T and told AT&T that there was basically no market for cell phones, that people didn't want portable phones.
[05:54] Prof. Brian Kernighan: And this I think is a triumph of how consultancy can go wrong and yet not suffer for it.
Is there any independent verification that any such report by McKinsey exists?