Expectations were high and the surrounding hype arguably greater than ever for the latest smartphone launch from the Cupertino sleek tech vendors, and following a slew of recent bad publicity surrounding the ongoing patent war with Samsung the inevitable question is, “How successful was the launch of the iPhone 5?”
From a marketing perspective, Apple was actually quite savvy this time around, with the iPhone 5 reveal and official release date announcement taking place just nine days before the smartphone hit the shelves.
Two million loyal customers decided to pre-order the iPhone 5 when sales opened on the 14th and the now ubiquitous Apple Store lines began to form in the run up to midnight of launch day. So far, so good.
After the marketing and PR success of the announcement and launch came the iPhone 5 reviews. Critical response was overwhelmingly positive, highlighting in particular the improvements many felt were lacking in the iPhone 4S – a larger, 4” screen, faster processor, new software (iOS 6) and ultrafast 4G LTE support (though the latter is, as always, often restricted by poor provider data coverage).
The initial honeymoon period in the press was short-lived however, as focus shifted towards the buggy and often downright incorrect Apple Maps and hardware incompatibility with older iPhone accessories without an as yet unavailable $40 adapter.
These criticisms will do little to dispel the impression some have of the iPhone as a prime example of style over substance, but the numbers don’t lie: two million pre-orders and 5 million units sold within three days of the launch mean that consumers still value Apple as a brand and the iPhone as a product. The smartphone wars are far from over.