Apple’s Unique History of Launch Events

Tim Cook officially announced the launch of the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xr generation of iPhones last week, finally ending the guessing game that took place during the months leading up to the event.

Two weeks earlier, journalists and bloggers alike relied on unconfirmed reports to get a glimpse into the highly anticipated next generation of iPhones. Some of the predictions were right; for instance, Bloomberg correctly reported that Apple would likely raise prices and increase the screen size of the next iPhone.

Their sources, who they stated were “people familiar with the matter… who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products,” also correctly predicted that Apple would unveil three new iPhone models. Other outlets like GizModo, a tech focused online publication, released numerous articles that speculated on everything from the name of the next iPhone, to its color and how it would charge.

However, one day before the launch event, they cited a Bloomberg report that incorrectly predicted the new iPhone would cost $600 to $700.

All the hype leading up to last Wednesday’s event did not occur accidentally. In fact, for over a decade Apple has held a yearly product launch with a secretive marketing strategy to build up hype.

In 2010, Apple’s secret was revealed far earlier than it had planned when an Apple engineer left a prototype of the unreleased iPhone at a bar outside of Silicon Valley, which was obtained by Gizmodo.  

Unlike their competitors, Apple not only does not tweet leading up to launch events but they refrain from tweeting entirely.

Despite all the interest, Apple attempted to build up this year, Dave Smith, a commentator for Business Insider who has been attending Apple iPhone launches for ten years said, ”Wednesday’s event in Cupertino, California, where Apple unveiled the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the Apple Watch Series 4, has to be one of the more disappointing ones.”

He added, “First of all, it’s important to note that Apple events are kind of in their own category. Even a yawn-inducing Apple event like Wednesday’s launch is better than most events or conferences thrown by rival tech companies, which are typically slow, boring affairs that usually reveal some kind of fundamental disconnect with their audience.”

Perhaps no iPhone launch event will ever compare to when Steve Jobs stood on stage wearing a black turtleneck to announce the launch of the very first iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007.

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