iPhone 4S Pre-Sales Surge, But iPhone Buzz Sags

Google keyword searches for “iPhone 4S,” “iPhone 5″ drop off sharply as the new iPhone and Steve Jobs’ death bring a level of sobriety to iPhone mania.

It’s awfully quiet around here these days.

And that isn’t just an anecdotal observation: traffic and buzz all around the web for the iPhone is way down after the cathartic release of the iPhone 4S and subsequent disappointments of Steve Jobs’ death on October 5th — the day that an “iPhone 5″ media event maybe would have been scheduled had Cupertino lived up to expectations of a bold overhaul of the iPhone 4.

Many who have already experienced throngs of avid iPhone users clamoring to pre-order the iPhone 4S might find the news of a sleepy iPhone 4S/5 blogosphere incongruous, but it is indeed true. Google’s own data bears this out:

iphone 5 search traffic

As you can see in this graph, taken from Google’s own AdWords keyword research tool, the search traffic for the “iPhone 5″ keyword, which reached a fever pitch the day of the media event, took a sharp tumble once it was revealed that the new iPhone was in fact the iPhone 4S. This wouldn’t seem surprising, until you see the iPhone 4S keyword search data side by side:

iphone 4s search trafficThe red line, which indicates the iPhone 4S keyword search traffic, rose sharply on the day of the iPhone 4S’s announcement, and still more the day after, but then sharply declined after the 5th. Since that time, both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 keyword searches have bottomed out to some degree. It would seem that Steve Jobs’ death would have something to do with this phenomenon:

steve jobs search trafficThe orange line is for the search term “Steve Jobs,” which, as you can see, spiked the day after his death, which actually crossed the news wires on the night of October 5th. It appears that Jobs’ death did have an effect on internet interest in the new iPhone 4S, as keyword searches for it declined at the same time that searches for “Steve Jobs” spiked.

Another possible contributing factor to the sleepy pace of iPhone interest on the web right now is a sense of disillusionment and confusion for iPhone devoteés who were expecting an iPhone 5 but feel they were stuck with an undesirable iPhone 4S. Although the iPhone 5 rumor mill is attempting to churn out rumors of a January-released iPhone 5, those reports are feeble at best. At present, it would seem that the next possible release window for the iPhone 5 to be at the 2012 WWDC in June.

Finally, the question still remains: will we be looking at an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 in 2012? If the sixth generation iPhone is numbered with a “5,” it would not be the first time that Apple ascribed the wrong number to a generational iPhone release — the iPhone 3G was in fact the second-generation iPhone. But the 3G was aptly named for being the first 3G iPhone — naming the sixth-generation iPhone “iPhone 5″ would bear little logic, with the exception of maybe not confusing consumers.

Still, it remains to be seen if the next iPhone will be given “iPhone 5″ or “iPhone 6″ as its working title. As the rumor mill continues to work that out, iPhone users remain uninspired.



One Response to iPhone 4S Pre-Sales Surge, But iPhone Buzz Sags

  1. rex says:

    Well there are 4 or 5 million Apple drones that get their phones as soon as they can. The rest of the population isn’t so well conditioned.

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