Matt Alexander on Apple’s PR Strategy for iPhone X

Great piece by Matt Alexander, analyzing Apple’s new PR strategy for iPhone X:

How would Apple go about accomplishing these goals?

Simply put, they’d create a crashing wave, of sorts, of press around the product, which would enable them to control and manipulate consumer perception of the news, regardless of how more technical reviewers may feel.

Lesson learned from the Apple Watch Series 3 launch, the tech press created a huge amount of uproar about the device being unable to maintain an LTE connection. Although this was explained within hours of those reviews being published, it was already too late for the average consumer.

I think Alexander nailed Apple’s thinking on this. I do think Apple felt burned by the fact that day one coverage of Apple Watch Series 3 was dominated by the Wi-Fi hotspot bug encountered by The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern and The Verge’s Lauren Goode that seemingly rendered cellular networking — the product’s signature feature! — inoperative. The news that it was just a simple bug and would soon be fixed (which turned out to be true) didn’t spread nearly as widely.

In short, Apple wants control over the narrative for its products, and in-depth reviews are mostly out of their control.

They can’t have it both ways though. Apple yesterday posted “iPhone X: What Reviewers Are Saying” to their Newsroom blog, but most of the quotes were from “reviews” which were written by people who’d only spent a few hours with the phone.

Thursday, 2 November 2017