This week the news, Facebook, twitter, and numerous blogs focused on the new iPhone3GS release. There are two aspects of this launch that I would like to touch on: the launch and the social media blacklash.
The phone is set to release on June 19, 2009 at a whopping price of $399. This phone can and will do mostly anything short of vacuuming your living room. It has a built-in compass, 32 GB of hard drive space, a faster processor than the previous version, and even makes phone calls.
Apple has employed an advertising campaign to introduce the new product that encompasses traditional mass media as well as twitter and other social media. I’ve seen television spots and heard radio spots. Yesterday I even jumped on the twitter bandwagon and added #squarespace to my tweets in an effort to win a new iPhone. I think this promotional idea shows us how social media marketing is taking off and how we can better utilize the social media websites as marketing tools.
The most amazing part of this phone is that we now have one device that can do everything we expect a phone or PDA to do. It stores and plays media, has downloadable applications, a camera, a video camera, texting and email capabilities, and the list goes on. It is just amazing to me that all of this now is in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. Basically, it’s a very small computer.
The problem with the launch, however, is that AT&T didn’t realize the backlash they would receive from customers who only paid $199 for their latest iPhone upgrade. They are now hitting the social networks and creating a firestorm in an effort to convince AT&T to lower the price. But they don’t know about “subsidies” and don’t take into account the new free software updates coming out next week. If they do, they don’t seem to care. But they have to realize that to stay an innovator it’s going to cost some bells.
Then there’s the other hand. We now live in a totally connected world, where everyone has a forum to say whatever they’d like about any subject. Customers can create a raucous online, but in the end, they’ll still pay the price to have the latest and greatest phone. So why should AT&T worry about all the uproar?
Great marketers know the answer to that. “Because you should always listen to your customers.”
How AT&T Should Handle the Online iPhone Price Backlash
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