Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Lets all go crazy…two days till the #iPhone4

The much hyped iPhone 4 launch is this Thursday. This has been a subject that gadget lovers across the globe have been talking about since its ‘accidental’ leak in April. As always, Apple has done an amazing job of building hype around its new hero product and giving it the must-have status that so many of its competitors fail to achieve, but who else tags onto this hype and how effective is Apple’s marketing strategy for the companies it works with?

Last week Apple started the ball rolling by offering pre-orders through its website and if you weren’t one of the lucky 600,000 people that got your hands on one, you will have to wait until the 24th June. The UK carriers came under much scrutiny after Apple offered the pre-orders and they were unable to do the same for their customers. However, they didn’t do themselves any favours by not disclosing price plans and handset prices to help customers make an informed decision.

In comparison to the iPhone 3G launch, where O2 was announced as the sole UK carrier, this time Apple have opened the flood gates to get all the major players involved. This has meant that everyone has been waiting for the price war to commence and with consumers always looking for the best deal, loyalty has gone out the window. But with tariffs that are so similar, consumers are now trying to play the operators off on each other. The ball has moved back to the operators, leaving a lot of eager customers watching for the next move only two days before launch, with some even suspected of trying to put off longer term customers.

Looking at Twitter, the Vodafone and O2 profiles are being inundated with hundreds of questions a day and customers are feeling it is a bit of a PR nightmare as they are not getting immediate responses or no response at all. By not responding, the carriers are opening themselves up to a lot more negative backlash and angry customers. While Apple can get away with the silent treatment and leaving its customers guessing, it’s another story for the networks which are unfortunately not doing such a good job. It makes you wonder if it would have been better for the carriers to monitor the situation and respond through selected broadcast tweets, therefore keeping customers all up to date in one swoop.

What are your thoughts on the situation- PR disaster or cleverly constructed plan?

Photo credit: Apple.com

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