The Social Anatomy of Apple’s iPhone 5 Launch

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In this article posted on September 21, the day when iPhone 5 officially released to public, blogger Kiron Mair, after monitored the social networks for keywords related to the launch, discovered some interesting facts across different conversations online.

Mair referred resources from social media specialists Synthesio’s book ‘The Quick Start Guide To Social Media Monitoring’,  in which Apple was categorized as an exciting brand that generates high levels of online buzz and interactions naturally. He set up search queries on a Synthesio dashboard that monitored all mentions of ‘iPhone 5’ when combined with keywords including ‘launch’, ‘announcement’, and ‘unveiling’, across over 100 countries and in multiple languages. After gathering all the discussion content alongside four key aspects-features, design, software and networks, the variation of conversation across different countries was revealed. Interestingly, consumers’ focuses are different among regions. In India, consumers care more about the product features, that does make sense since India is worldwide known for its IT innovations and technologies. The French focus on iOS software, apparently they believe in that iPhone 5 wouldn’t be a new generation without an upgraded iOS 6. In Canada, the networks issue is in the center stage. While in Germany and Brazil, the design is what matters the most.

With design and new iOS software being discussed, I recalled the parody videos and tweets I saw in the past two weeks that complains the longer/uglier feature of the new iPhone and the useless map on iOS 6. You may want to check out this YouTube video ‘A Taller Change‘ and give it a laugh. It has more than 6,736,000 viewers already! And on Friday that just passed, Apple CEO Tim Cook had to write an open letter to the Apple faithful (hopefully most of them are not ‘heart broken’ yet), to apologize for failing to deliver a “world-class” mapping solution. Sadly, he had to recommend his users Nokia and Google map. I guess that was an embarrassing move for Cook since still, thousands of fans are loyal Jobs followers. They are being more critical about Apple products after Steven Jobs passed away. And with the power of social media, the emotion can be transmitted worldwide within minutes.

The question now is if Apple continue disappoint its faithfuls with unperfected features, will it still be the “lovemark” in consumers’ mind? Especially, what role do you think social media is playing in this game? Gathering so much discussion traffic and inspiring fans/non-fans to parody s at the same time, will Apple gain benefits, in terms of sales aspect, from social media?

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2 thoughts on “The Social Anatomy of Apple’s iPhone 5 Launch

  1. It’s interesting to see that people from different countries talked about different aspects of iPhone 5 on social media. Although some services in the latest iOS suck,there are still a lot of people discussing about it which indicates iPhone5 still sells well. But I doubt if Apple continues these troublesome Apps, it will lose some loyal customers.

  2. It seems to me that this is evidence of the cliche “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” Well, in this case, figurative dying is way too strong a concept. Still, Apple has done quite well using buzz and social media to its advantage. The iPhone 5’s recent inclusion of an unperfected map feature is one of just a few strong negative reactions to an Apple product feature. Let’s wait and see how well & quickly they address this shortcoming, and how social media plays in the communications of the fix.

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