BY Ruma Dubey
As Irma makes a landfall in Florida while Trump remains fixated on Immigration; all the others not affected by either of the two are waiting for the sun to rise on Tuesday in America. It’s the day when Apple will launch not one iPhone but three of them, out of which one will be ‘premium’ – its like saying “more expensive.”
The company is obviously ratcheting the halo that surrounds it to a new level by putting another “first” tag - Apple Inc. chief executive officer Tim Cook will take the stage for the first time in the Steve Jobs Theater at its new campus.
The phone this time will be path breaking as it will offer wireless charging and infrared facial recognition. But over and above these innovations, it will set a new benchmark when it comes to pricing – the new phones will have a starting price of $1000 dollars while the current iPhone 7 sells at around $750. Apple has made excuses for being a premium product company but this pricing, really pushes up the threshold to a limit where people, taken over by this Apple-possession mania could actually take a pause and look at where they are heading. Apple, with this launch becomes a luxury product company.
It would be very interesting to see how the product does in China where Apple’s market share has been slipping gradually, with people opting for Made-In-China brands like Oppo and Huawei. The Chinese are obsessed about status and this means, if the new Apple phones continue to look the same, they might not buy it as it would make no impact on an observer but if the look is changed, the rich Chinese will clamor to buy.
The new phones will start getting sold in USA after 23rd Sept while in India, it is expected to be launched around Diwali.
This is such amazing brand building before a launch – news leaks, rumours and similar news after the launch; the impression created is that if they do not own an Apple, they are not “cool” and are missing out on something very big in life. Apple iPhone is an obsession where, price tag does not matter, one just AS TO HAVE the iPhone; it has become a matter of prestige or status.
That is the kind of obsession which Apple generates. This kind of frenzy is never seen with Samsung or Nokia but only Apple. It is clearly an indication of the strange hold which Apple has over the people and the entire smart phone industry.
There are other similar, identical products like the iPhone in the market, so why this obsession with Apple? Its more media created – where even the most trivial of news on Apple becomes big news. Blog posts about Apple get more hits than any other article – so it starts with the media initiating these write-ups and then people take over and drive it to a frenzy. Just before the launch on the new iPhone, search interest in Apple had almost reached the same level it did when Steve Jobs died. And to his credit, Steve Jobs created a brand which has become a lifestyle statement. The iPod revolutionized the way we listen to music and the iPhone and iPad have been equally life changing. Others have merely imitated Apple. Also Steve Jobs, had managed to stoke an incredible, worldwide fascination with every Apple product announcement and the same legacy continues….