by Giles Turnbull

The iPhone launch hype is gathering momentum, and with the hype comes a frenzy of excess, hyperbole and silliness.

Is Apple guilty of raising expectations beyond the norm? Some say it is:

Even for a company that’s mastered the art of product-launch hype, Apple Inc. has propelled iPhone hysteria into the stratosphere.

But don’t forget, knowing in advance when a new Apple product is going to go on sale is something of a novelty. Usually they are simply announced, “shipping today”, and the hype is restricted to just uninformed speculation prior to a keynote speech by Steve Jobs.

This time, though, we know exactly what’s coming. Apple’s been more forthcoming about the iPhone than any other product. It needs to be, because the iPhone has to be seen to be doing well. Apple wants people queuing up to buy; it wants stores to run out of stock over the weekend. It wants demand to be so great that the clamour for iPhones continues long after launch.

Anyway, if you’re too lazy, or not sufficiently fanboy enough to do your own queuing, there’s plenty of other people who’ll do it for you - for a 1000 bucks.

And once you’ve got your paws on an iPhone, there’s another queue of people ready to sell you add-ons, cases, and related doodads. You know, just in case you had some more money to spend.

John Dvorak says he’s fed up with it all:

I am sick of it. It’s all anyone talks about. It dominates the news. It dominates the podcasts and videocasts and magazines. Hitler got less coverage when he invaded Poland.

But he would say that, wouldn’t he?


2007-06-26 05:30:57
I don't see Apple hyping the iPhone much - not a patch on the efforts Microsoft goes to with things like Vista, the XBox or the Zune. The people hyping the iPhone (and being incredibly negative about a product nobody has even used yet) are the people who get paid for writing blogs and magazine articles.

Like...er...you Giles ?

2007-06-26 05:47:03
Andy: heh, I'm guilty of adding my tuppence worth, that's true. For the record though, I've not been negative about the iPhone yet. I'll wait until it's out before making any judgements. And since I'm in the UK, I'll have to wait longer than most - so to begin with, I'll be depending on other people's judgements.

I *do* think that Apple's pushing the iPhone more than it normally pushes products - the 20-minute iPhone guided tour video is evidence of that - but I don't blame Apple for doing so, nor think that they shouldn't. Of course they have to show it off to people.

My point in this post was to point to some of the hoopla about iPhone elsewhere on the web. Needless to say, it's hard to point at hype without contributing to it to some degree. Mea maxima culpa.

2007-06-26 05:50:10
Andy: so true. I love the way Apple does so little (compared to other companies) in terms of PR work, and gets so much mileage out of it.

Unless there's a large bunch of PR work I'm not seeing.

2007-06-26 07:14:59
For something to feed up Dvorak...

Apple wins for K.O.!

2007-06-26 08:19:26
Remember the G4-Ads? Where the tanks sorrounded the Mac? Shipping - 3 months later.
The difference is not that big. So I personally believe the main reason for the hype is Apple invading the handy trade.
2007-06-26 14:45:42
Lots of people are irritated that Apple is...well...Executing Successfully, to date, and the complainers are sick that their favorite company (amongst a dozen or so) has not scooped the whole crowd of handset makers.

Apple is doing it in a market where horrible, hard to use and mechanically short lived and impossible to learn devices have been pawned off for decades now, and it did not take a genius to understand that. Ask any long time cell phone user.

2007-06-26 15:09:28
"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." -- Oscar Wilde

Apple seems to have hit the sweet spot with this release, free-publicity-wise. It's funny that Dvorak would pick "too many people talking about the iPhone" to complain about. It's human nature: when we hear a lot of talk about something, we subconsciously assume it's probably important.