After nearly a year since Apple released the iPhone 4S, the new edition — iPhone 5 — made its debut. Social media generated lots of opinions and critiques both positive and negative about the iPhone 5, making it a top Twitter trend that day. Tech journalists were dedicated columns and blog posts to the launch as well.
Lance Whitney wrote in C/NET that, “a full 39 percent of the tweets about the iPhone 5 were positive, according to a report from research firm Crimson Hexagon. Among those, 14 percent said they were excited about the new phone or planned to buy it and 18 percent were eagerly anticipating or were excited about the launch itself. Just 7 percent of the positive tweets centered around new features such as the support for 4G LTE.”
The article says that more than 1.9 million tweets mentioned the iPhone 5 between Sept. 12 through the morning of Sept. 14.
Interestingly, about 12 percent of the Twitter responses about the iPhone 5 were negative, dismissing the significance of the launch and the new product.
Here’s a roundup of some other reactions throughout the news media to the iPhone:
Charlie Warzel created a Storify post detailing media reactions to the launch.
Mat Honan’s commentary in Wired was cited by several other outlets because his headline summed up others’ reaction so well: “The iPhone 5 is Completely Amazing and Utterly Boring.” It’s a weird paradox, he wrote. “The iPhone 5 can simultaneously be the best phone on the market and really, really boring.” But that’s not necessarily bad – it’s just the march of technology. “Revolution becomes evolution,” says Honan, who added that Apple will shake things up in other ways like home entertainment.
Forbes contributor Erik Kain said Apple was playing it safe. “The general consensus after today’s iPhone 5 event can be best summed up by the word ‘meh,’” he wrote. “However classy looking the iPhone 5 may be, it won’t turn heads like it once did.”
BloombergBusinessweek said that “while other manufacturers enumerate the sheer number of features their phones have, Apple exercised restraint.” The outlet also got an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said he hoped the new phone would take better photos than those he captures with his Samsung Galaxy S3. People “always say the Galaxy S3, or even the Motorola Razr, pictures look better,” he said.
Although it was clearly a popular product that created a lot of buzz, I believe that the day Apple announced the iPhone 5 was not a clever PR move. Why? Because Sept. 11 is a national day of sorrow with many bad memories for Americans, so it would have been better to choose a different day to have completely positive marketing attention and interest.
For me, the iPhone is the best cell phone on the market. Apple added all of the elements that made the iPhone 4S less-than-desirable. On the flip side, creating too much hype is a terrible thing because it makes people believe that every new product Apple comes out with will be life-changing and extraordinary. What more, at this point in time, can you ask for in a smartphone?
How should Apple utilize social media to better understand what its customers want and avoid over-saturating the market with too many new products?