The iPhone 5 was the subject of almost two years of debate and anticipation. It managed to create a frenzy even before it materialized into a concrete machine because much like its predecessors, it was expected to bring a revolution. The rumours, the guesses, and the carefully orchestrated leaks only added to the excitement Apple fans had, setting the perfect launch pad for the most anticipated phone of the year. Yet, as the dust settles after the product launch, it seems that Apple heads across the world are a little disappointed.
While mixed tech reviews and a widespread sense of not meeting customer expectations, may not affect product sales, they do pose the threat of affecting Apple’s unparalleled reputation as an innovator.
Did Apple have to bear the brunt of the hype and expectations that they, in part, helped fuel? Does its cult status lead to its products being held to impossible standards within the tech world? Has it has already changed from a revolutionary to evolutionary company since the launch of iPhone 5?
Apple is the brand which fused the smart into phones, and simultaneously into consumers’ lifestyle. It garnered a cult for itself since the disruption it once caused in the gadget world. More importantly, it managed to sustain and widen that cult because of the genius and innovation in its products, allowing to cause that disruption time and again. Apple’s most successful products were not just new toys, they were revolutionary instruments capable of radically altering the course of the world.
The heart of Apple’s appeal, their PR genius and exclusivity, lies in the nature of being an anti-establishment product– and yet one that is commercially successful. But the iPhone 5 does not align with this USP.
Regardless of poor reviews, Apple has managed to sell millions of phones across the globe in first 24 hours of consumer availability because the device itself does not matter. There may be cheaper, more efficient, and better reviewed smart phones in the market than iPhone 5, but they do not have that undeniable brand appeal of the partially bit fruit. The company Steve Jobs founded resonates in the minds of customers as ground breaking, trend setting innovators.
The cult Apple established has started to quiver and it is worth examining if Apple has lost its ability to mesmerize and disrupt the tech world with each new product launch. If it continues to disappoint in terms of product innovation, then will the brand appeal it takes for granted become a thing of the past? Is iPhone 5 set to mark the beginning of Apple’s end as the world’s most admired brand?
Written by Chaahat Madaan for Image Management. Based on inputs from Kunal Anand.