Apple IPhone Hype Machine in Overdrive:
Apple has mastered the art of HYPE. Die-hard Apple fans are expected to line up overnight or longer outside retail stores to get their hands on an iPhone for either $500 or $600. Skeptics wonder whether even the most innovative product could live up to the iPhone’s lofty expectations – and whether the pre-launch anticipation has spiraled too far out of control.
Scrutiny of the product is so great that any small disappointment could send Apple’s stock plunging, experts say.
The hype began when Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off the iPhone at the annual Macworld Conference and Expo in early January.
The iPhone has already generated a thriving cottage industry online, with more than 1,100 peripheral iPhone items currently for sale on eBay, including colorful holsters, touch-screen protectors and car adapters.
But the hype has also hurt Apple.
The launch is being so closely watched that Apple’s share price plunged more than 4 percent in a matter of minutes last month after a rumor about a delay was reported on Engadget.com, an electronics Web site.
Die-hard fans are expected to camp out in front of Apple and AT&T stores to get a shot at snagging one of the iPhones, which are being sold on a first-come, first-serve basis starting Friday evening.
“God knows what’s going to happen when the reviews come out,” he said. (myway)