Apple Maintains Ability To Generate Interest and Purchase Consideration.
The day all of us gadget geeks have been awaiting has arrived. Apple has revealed its latest iPhones, the iPhone 5S and 5C. Considering Apple’s reputation as an innovator and market leader, media and general public have recently focused on Apple’s ability to maintain category leadership and ongoing innovation. We were curious to learn what consumer opinion around yesterday’s launch might reveal as it relates to Apple’s brand and product perception. For answers we turned to ForSight for social media sentiment and opinion analysis.
In order to establish a benchmark for our iPhone 5S/5C reception, we began by analyzing how Apple iPhone 5 was initially received by consumers after it’s launch on September 11, 2012.
iPhone 5 Reveal Reactions
In September 2012, initial consumer reaction towards iPhone 5 was largely positive, with 63% of the conversation expressing positive sentiment towards the product. 41% of the conversation focused on expressing purchase intent, while 11% of social media conversations revolved around new innovative features. 11% of the conversation expressed faith in Apple’s ability to lead the market and stated Apple’s market leadership status.
Negative sentiment focused on Apple’s lack of innovation (19%), similarity with iPhone 4 (5%) and overall lack of interest to purchase the smartphone (5%). Again, while positive sentiment dominates the conversation, expressions of discontent with Apple’s ability to continue to innovate are worth noting.
iPhone 5C/5S Reveal Reactions
Media coverage has described Apple’s 2013 reveal and the new phones as “boring”, “mundane” and “disappointing”. But how does the apparently disappointing launch impact purchase consideration? Based on our initial social media conversation analysis, iPhone continues to generate interest among consumers and purchase consideration is strong dominating (37%) the positive conversation. As the graph below demonstrates, new innovative features such as Touch ID and attractive design are other primary drivers of positive conversation for the overall conversation around the launch.
However, most of the negative comments (16%) are focused on expressing disappointment in Apple’s ability to innovate.
Considering Apple launched two new iPhones, 5S and 5C, we wanted to dive in deeper and isolate conversations around the two products to identify any differences in tone.
The graph below shows negative sentiment dominating the conversation around iPhone 5C. The majority (53%) of the aggregate conversation is expressing their discontent with design, calling it “cheap” and “low-grade”. Despite the negative reception, purchase intent for 5C remains relatively high at 30% and dominates the positive conversation.
The tone of the conversation around the iPhone 5S is drastically different.. As seen in the graph below, 89% of the conversation is positive and driven by purchase intent (52%), new features, design and Apple’s status as an industry leader. Only 11% of the conversation is negative as consumers express disappointment on Apple’s inability to innovate.
Considering the predominantly critical feedback by the media so far these results caught us by surprise. Based on social media conversations, initial sentiment towards the new iPhones was largely positive and purchase consideration seems to remain strong. The next few months will show if this translates into sales and increased marketshare. There are rumors that Apple might be holding another media event sometime in October. We’ll be watching closely to see if Apple is able to mute its critics and continue to win over consumers.
For more information on technology social analysis, download our Discovering Brand Affinity Case Study.