iPhone: The Pre-Launch Aftermath
Love it or hate it or sick of it, Apple’s iPhone is a hit before it hits, with searches for information spiking hundreds of percent, people lining up outside stores, old men complaining about it just as the rate plans are announced, three full days before the thing actually launches.
If you’re just here to find out prices and rates, here’s the skinny, via the press release (if you’re here to learn about mass iPhone hysteria, skip to the next text block):
iPhone goes on sale at 6:00 p.m. (local time) on Friday, June 29 and will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores and AT&T retail stores…available in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac…iPhone monthly service plans are available for individuals and families and are based on a new two-year service agreement with AT&T. Individual plans are priced at $59.99 for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes and $99.99 for 1,350 minutes. All plans include unlimited data (email and web), Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile and a one-time activation fee of $36. Family plans are also available.
In other words, cool’s going to cost you.
Hitwise reports that searches for the term "iphone" have increased by 583% in the past four weeks, making it the 131st most-searched term in the US overall. Add that to similar terms like "apple iphone," "iphone price," "iphone release date," and "iphone review," and you have Apple’s iPhone website traffic spiking by 185 percent.
Most of that traffic is coming from who you expect it come from, young early adopters with lots of spare cash, and not from cranky old-man columnists like John Dvorak who’s been complaining for some time about it until today he just flipped his old gray wig:
Hitler got less coverage when he invaded Poland….Seriously, this whole thing is creepy in some mystical way.
I love grumpy old men. That’s from a rant entitled, "Shut Up About the iPhone, Already," ironic in that he goes on a long time about shutting up abou it. Let me sum up the rest for you, it goes: iPhone, iPhone, iPhone, iPhone, I really hate the stinkin iPhone, everybody shut up about the daggum iPhone. The end.
The quip about Hitler already won him Line of the Year from WatchMojo.com. Hey Mojo, seeing as there’s six months left in the year, let me give it a whirl:
(Clearing throat) When Steve Jobs unveiled Apple’s new iPhone, it was like John Lennon just walked in carrying the Baby Jesus. (Taking bows) Thank you!
It’s amazing I haven’t seen any name calling (besides from me, of course) for Dvorak. I merely speculated iPhone might not live up to the hype and people started calling me the awfullest [sic: Southern in context] things.
Now Dvorak’s a special case. His theory back in March that Apple should pull the iPhone isn’t looking like it’s going to pan out. After all, they do have lines forming days in advance, with beggars even, and just the vehemently denied rumor that iPhone would be delayed dropped a few billion off of Apple’s market cap – in something like two hours.
Nope, think they’d better stick with it. But I do agree the technophilic world is setting itself for disappointment, as nothing seems to live up to the hype – except for the Nintendo Wii, which is awesome.
Most likely, to echo Dvorak, some of these guys are likely to squeeze their new toy so hard they break it. Or they’ll get their noses broken on the way out of the store, getting, to echo Eminem, a good old-fashioned passionate butt-whoopin’, and get their shoes, hat and iPhone tooken.
Opportunists and charities alike are ready to sell on eBay.
Most likely this is they way it’ll go down, mark it, here on June 26, 2007, I made these predictions:
Enough Apple fanboys, geeks, and trend-minded technophile posers will shell out just under a grand for the iPhone, accessories, and calling plans to make the initial launch a success and nobody will be able to find one anywhere for weeks, which is a good move on Apple’s part, not making enough of them so the anticpation builds through the holidays.
A few days into it, there will be a healthy mix of ecstatic textual paroxysms in blogosphere as well as a number of curmudgeons wailing about this, that, or the other design flub, screen problem, and security flaw. Some of them will predict these problems will be the end of Apple as we know it, paving the way for a world controlled by Microsoft and Google and, for the extra-optimistic techno-doomsdayers, Linux.
Some will be disillusioned but too embarrassed to talk about it, just like they were when the Star Wars prequels came out.
LG will sue Apple and Apple will sue Research In Motion for developing a similar apparatus, calling it the ePhone, and all three will come to agreeable terms before it’s all over to share the money, allowing several iPhone-esque phones on the market, some better, some worse, available on any carrier, iPhone too, for cheaper.
But that last part doesn’t happen until after Christmas. All in all, a successful dream of a launch.