The fascinating Word of Mouth effects of the iPhone.

iphone 1 for illustrative purposesIt’s amazing how much unfounded gossip there is about the fact that Steve Jobs might reveal the iphone 2 on June 9th. One of the first „solid“ rumours I saw was at Gizmodo. Since then, new rumours, hints and other gossip has increased.

I subscribed to an RSS Newsfeed of Google News with the keyword iphone. There is so much happening, it’s amazing. If apple had tried to construct a viral or word of mouth campaign around the iphone, they couldn’t have done a better job than the web just did. Or may be they did help spreading the word?

Some more of these clues and assumptions that are spreading around the web are mentioned in an article of Newsweek:

Jobs‘ secretive computer and gadget company, has been quietly positioning millions of units of a mysterious new product—almost certainly the new iPhone—in key markets since March. And yet, incredibly, not one credible image of Apple’s new product has yet been published.

[…] One clue: Jobs began racking up serious mileage on his corporate jet during the company’s final quarter of 2007, as he likely finalized deals with distribution partners in Europe and Asia, and perhaps scrutinized the first 3G iPhone handsets to come from his partners‘ factories. Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty was the first to spot the enormous jump in Jobs‘ airplane expenses—to $550,000 from $203,000 during the previous quarter.

[…] By May 6, it became clear that AT&T was getting ready for something big, with a blogger publishing an all-hands memo to employees at AT&T stores telling them they couldn’t take vacation time between June 15 and July 12. That news hit amid widespread reports of iPhone shortages in Europe and across the U.S.

Cult of Mac even listed some of the Specs the new iphone should have (some have been rumoring around for quite some time, admittingly, but the info about the size – 22% thinner – is new). A seemingly rather complete list of the current rumors can be found at mobilecrunch, rated with a „Pre-keynote Legitometer“.

With all the clues, hints and gossip around the web, it appears to be like a giant world wide scavenger hunt. The whole setup and effect should be every marketers dream (and every ad agencys dilemma, since less or no advertising will be needed for the launch). Once the product itself carries viral potential, it automatically triggers word of mouth. The iphone is a classic example of this.

PS: if all goes well, I will be owning an iPhone 2 by next week 😉



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