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'Price' and 'Preorder' become buzzwords in Apple's social media blitzkrieg

11-September-2014
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'Price' and 'Preorder' become buzzwords in Apple's social media blitzkrieg

Apple outdid itself this time with the grandest social media launch in its history.

With the unveiling of its latest products—the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch—netizens across the globe were holding on to each word Tim Cook uttered late Tuesday night. Unsurprisingly, Twitter and Facebook overflowed with excited and extreme reactions.

According to social marketing company Spredfast, the new iPhones (in regular and plus sizes) swamped the tweets with one million-plus mentions. The Apple Watch, despite being a game-changer for the company, got a relatively subdued 3,36,000 mentions right before and after its launch.

‘Social’ criticism

Even as the world had its eyes set on the launch, self-proclaimed critics ruled the roost.

During the live stream, Apple was able to set up a clean blog design that allowed viewers to share updates on social media. However, a stuttering live stream, which could be seen only on Safari, earned a fair amount of ridicule on Twitter.

And as new devices and features dropped at the event in California, frustrated Apple users  and those seizing a chance to unleash their cynicism online united under the hashtag '#iphonequestions'.

On Twitter, some were quick to point out the frequency at which technology seems to become obsolete - to the detriment of wallets the world over.

Gags about the “Welcome to 2012” banner were hard to miss.

Similar mocking statements were made across social networking sites.

Positive influencers

Ahead of Apple's special event, its website displayed live tweets of numerous brands and celebrities.

Before the event began, Gwen Stefani shared a picture on Instagram with Dr. Dre, who has 2.22 million followers on Twitter. He sells the beats line of accessories through Apple. Stefani has 1.27 million followers.

The caption said, “On my way to apple launch w dr dr."

As suspense built up on social media, the main hash tag was "Apple Live." Other hash tags associated with the event included "iPhone6" and "Apple Event."

Products galore

The iPhone 6 will have a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 6 Plus will be 5.5 inches. The screen resolution on the Plus version will be sharper than previous iPhones, at 401 pixels per inch rather than 326.

Apple is calling its new payment system Apple Pay. The company announced several merchants that will accept this system, including Macy's, Whole Foods, Walgreens and Disney stores — and of course, Apple stores.

Apple's smart watch will be called the Apple Watch, rather than the iWatch that many people had been speculating.

Though much of the attention was drawn to the new gadgets, the software powering those gadgets is getting its annual refresh. Apple considers iOS 8 will be its biggest update since the introduction of the app store in 2008.

So now that the cat is out of the bag, will buyers take the plunge? According to Spredfast, in the past seven days, lookups vaulted up by 300 per cent for “iphone 6 price” — but price be damned , because searches for “iphone 6 preorder” went up by 245 per cent even before the prices were revealed.

If initial numbers are to be believed, looks like there’s no stopping iPhone6 from creating buzz, and in turn, turning it into sales.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.