Opinion: iPhone 5 Announcement Delay Cased By Buzz, Jobs’ Illness
Ok — this is getting ridiculous.
More articles today corroborate the eventual release of the iPhone 5 in early October. Today, Charles Moore’s piece here on the iPhone 5 News Blog talks about a likely October 15th iPhone 5 release in Europe, while still others are posting rumor roundups that indicate all of the U.S. carrier-level rumors point to an iPhone 5 release in the first week of October. Computerworld‘s Jonny Evans has good piece on this today, who ultimately distills all of these rumors to conclude that the iPhone 5 will be released during the early October period, due to “an October 10 release for iOS 5, because that’s when AppleCare staff have been warned to expect up to eight times the usual volume of calls. This is broadly in line with the last batch of claims, which also pointed to an October release.”
This is all well and good, but here’s the thing: early October is just weeks away; in the U.S., Halloween decorations are already hitting the stores. Given the fact that Apple usually buffers a big, new product release with an announcement that is two or three weeks out from the actual launch, now would be the time for the tech press pool to be gathering somewhere of Apple’s choosing to get the first look and specs of the iPhone 5.
Many people feel that, for every week that passes without an iPhone 5 announcement, that must in turn push back the actual release date of the new iPhone. Not necessarily, however. There are two very different variables concerning the iPhone 5 that make it more possible that the new device might be released just days after its official announcement.
“Unprecedented” iPhone 5 Hype
The first factor surrounding the iPhone 5 and why Apple may not deem it necessary to leave two or three weeks between the announcement and release is the unprecedencted level of hype and excitement surrounding it. For as successful as the iPhone 4 has been over the last 14 months or so, the months leading up to the release of the iPhone 4 were nothing like what we’ve seen with the iPhone 5. In a unique article that we posted yesterday, we use Google’s own keyword search charts to contrast the “iPhone 4″ and “iPhone 5″ keyword searches leading up to their respective releases. Up until WWDC 2010, there was only nominal fanfare about the iPhone 4 from a search perspective. With the iPhone 5, however, excitement and buzz has been crescendoing up for a year or so, and has already reached a fever pitch.
In short, Apple doesn’t need two or three weeks for the iPhone 5 announcement to percolate; everyone’s (more than) ready for it. Heck, people have already even overcome a perceived “letdown” that the iPhone 5 may not change form factors or screen sizes, and people are still generally excited about buying it.
In an article on the Huffington Post, John Paczkowski says, “Excitement is running high ahead of the October launch of the iPhone 5, higher perhaps than it has been prior to any iPhone launch.”
With exposure at a maximum, Apple’s PR department will have much less to do with promotion than usual once the iPhone 5 is announced. From a marketing perspective, it will be ready to ship.
No Steve Jobs On Stage?
Another factor in delaying or the iPhone 5 announcement or otherwise holding it closer to the actual release could have something to do with Steve Job’s role — or lack thereof — in announcing it on stage. One thought could be that Cupertino is holding out to see if Mr. Jobs can rally enough to take the stage and launch the new iPhone — even if it is just one last time. That may be implausible, however, given the advanced stages of his cancer.
It may also be the case that Steve Jobs is definitely not going to announce the iPhone 5, and because the much less-interesting Tim Cook will be doing the honors, the iPhone 5 media event will play a lesser role in hyping the new iPhone. To be sure, if Steve isn’t at center stage, it won’t be the same for many Apple enthusiasts.
These two factors play into a theory that, while another passing week may leave iPhone 5′ers feeling let down, it may not in the end mean that the iPhone 5′s actual early October release is being pushed back.