Apple’s recent iPhone 5 announcement and upcoming launch has been a fascinating testament to the power of brand and to the very strong emotional connection that mobile devices have created with users. The mobile wave just keeps on surging!
For an iPhone version announcement, Apple’s news and showcasing of the device was a massive dud. The Economic Times declared “iPhone 5 bigger, faster but lacks ‘wow’ factor.” Others weighed in on the more incremental approach that Apple had taken with this release.
And then a fascinating thing happened: users started pre-ordering the iPhone 5. In crazy numbers. It’s clearly the fastest selling iPhone ever, selling more than 2 millino pre-orders in the first 24 hours. I’ve never pre-ordered an iPhone and I got one pre-ordered iwthin the first 48 hours.
So on the one hand, the iPhone doesn’t have much new to justify the upgrade. On the other hand, users are snapping them up faster than any iPhone ever. What gives?
A big part of this is Apple and its terrific marketing. But the larger story is that Mobile is just different. Smartphones, barely 5 years old, are devices we depend on–80% of respondents in a recent survey would not leave home without their smartphone. And our usage of them in terms of time per day is surging–one recent survey I saw showed a >30% year over year growth average time per day on the device. Given how central these devices our to our digital lifestyle, any advances and improvements in the leading devices will be ones that users pay close attention to. In the case of the iPhone 5, clearly, millions of them were convinced that it was time to upgrade.
In addition to the core dependency we have on mobile, Apple again is masterful at driving its brand.