Here we go again. Apple launches yet another highly-anticipated product amid a media whirlwind/ hype machine set to whip up the public like a bowl of meringue. And it works. Every time.
This time, as we’re sure you know, it’s the iPad Mini, released this week to combat the Friday debut of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and its brand-new Windows 8 operating system.
OK, even the most committed technophile reaches a saturation point. Nothing in life can be completely new and revolutionary and hype-worthy all the time, and while Apple’s success is well-deserved, we can’t help but wonder just when the working public will tire of these $500 “upgrades.”
As PR professionals, however, we do know that whenever super-CEO Tim Cook feels the need to apologize for poor decisions like omitting Google Maps from the iPhone 5 and creating a terrible app to replace it, the public takes notice. So the brand must tread carefully with regard to the public’s trust, good will, and willingness to get excited about something “new.” Need we remind you that many Americans are still just scraping by?
If you’ve seen the Samsung commercials mocking Apple brand advocates who wait in line for the latest iPhone release, you know that they’re tapping into something that resonates with the public: it’s funny because it’s true. Unbridled devotion to any brand turns comical when people sacrifice so much of their lives for a better version of something they bought (with great excitement) less than six months ago. There is a difference between being geeky and being gullible.
We’ll have to wait and see how the public reacts to the iPad Mini, which is perfect for that Apple fan who believes his iPhone is just a little bit too small and his iPad is just a little bit too big. The tech update game is a never-ending version of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”–the search for that “just right” product is always just a few more months away. The paradigm works well for Apple, but cash-strapped consumers might start to think twice about buying the latest upgrade, no matter how many times they read the Steve Jobs bio.
Now we know why Goldilocks needed free food and a place to crash.