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How The Blogosphere Became Apple’s Marketing Machine

How The Blogosphere Became Apple’s Marketing Machine

The amount of hype that preceeded Apple’s iPhone has been massive, and largely generated by us while Apple has sat back and basked in the free advertising. But when iDay rolled around, some of us were dissappointed by the reviews as bloggers found it hard to convey the device’s touch capabilities.

Even still, people bought into the hype, me included.

Keeping Quiet
Just because Steve Jobs announced the iPhone during his keynote at Macworld 2007 doesn’t mean we didn’t get glimpses of the device in the form of rumors beforehand.  In fact, it all predates back to 2004, with the birth of the iPhone’s development or at least as close as you could call it.

See the deal is, when you’re Apple and you’re aiming your sights at the cell phone market after a failed PDA, and have this idea taking root which could truly revolutionize the cell phone, then wouldn’t you want to plug all the holes in your ship? Wouldn’t you want to utilize this as well?

Well that’a exactly what Apple did and the two most examples are project Asteroid, and an episode of Diggnation involving host Kevin Rose leaking false information of the supposed device in December of 2006, mere months before the iPhone’s initial release.

Although there is no real set date as to when the iPhone started development, Apple’s asteroid project was more a test to see who would jepordize the company’s project. Asteroid was supposed to be an analog FireWire audio device or breakout box that would retail for $129, but Apple rumor sites reported on the yet-to-be-released device, such as Apple Insider, and soon faced the wrath of Apple.

It was clear that employees were leaking information and that others were loyal. Apple would play both groups of people by giving false information to those who would leak information and would continously throw us off. The other group was probably assigned to the iPhone project itself.

Here is the funny thing.  In 2006 the Blogosphere buzzed and reported any morsel of information that was rumored to be the 6th generation iPod, a widescreen, touchscreen iPod. Sounds an awful lot like the iPhone doesn’t it? But news of a massive update to the iPod line dominated the Internet while iPhone related news took root but not only a few months before Macworld.

Many doubted that Apple would go through and release an iPhone. Even the believers such as myself were thrown off. There were many versions reported to be the real deal such as a slide out keyboard, integrated keyboard or basically anything you can think of.

But going back a bit, 2006 was when a significant false leak was made. Kevin Rose, host of Diggnation reported that the iPhone would run a mini version of OS X, sport dual batteries, slide out keyboard and a touch screen that would encompass the phone. The video link can be found here.

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The significant thing to point out is Apple most likely seeded this false information in hopes it would either get out or deter that person’s or group’s perception of the device.

Nearly A Million Units Sold
By time you have finished reading this Blog post Apple may have very well sold nearly 1 million iPhones since Friday. That would be 1/10th of their projected goal for 2008, have 1 percent or 10 million iPhones in the cell market. Now we all know those are extremely modest predictions as so many were sold during launch in just a few days.

Now that we’re amazed at just how many sold because everyone and their mom bought one (no I am being dead serious, you will not believe how many groups of people that were just normal people bought an iPhone), Apple’s stock is that much higher and Bloggers all cross the Internet are raving about it, including me.

What can you take away from this? Hopefully that your audience can be your own personal hype and marketing machine which, if used carefully, can be utilized to your advantage. Apple’s found great success with this by making sure that secrecy is key and underselling is just as vital.

View Comments (4)
  • What is ironic is when reporters report on reporting… it’s oddly recursive and self-referential. The news about the news. Blogs about blogs. Sounds to me like a bunch of narcissistic gossips oohing and ahing and twisting truth to show themselves to be right.

    Oh, wait, that’s me, too…

    Um, uh… Yay for our side! We rule! More blogs on blogs for bloggers.

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