Apple has lost its hype bite.

The master of the ‘product launch hype’ seems to have lost its mojo.

by Maarten de Kok

Internet search is a great way to monitor the proverbial ‘wisdom of crowds’. At Trendmark we analyse internet search to separate trends from hypes. This blog builds on Trendmark’s recent White Paper ‘Dysscecting Hypes. What can we learn from historic examples?’ Apple perfected the art of the product launch hype and created a major uptrend in search for the iPhone. However, internet search for the iPhone has peaked and is now on a downtrend. 

The main points are: the ‘product launch hype’ is one of four different types of hypes. The annual iPhone product launch hypes created a massive ‘tail’ of contineous search for Apple’s iPhones. Only the Samsung Galaxy gets close in search frequency. Saturation has been reached and search for iPhone is currently in a downtrend. Trendmark will continue to monitor trends and hypes of all Apple products.

Internet Search data measures hypes

Internet Search is a great way to measure trends and hypes. Suddenly your family, friends and colleagues are talking about a particular topic: a cool game, a devastating hurricane or a new restaurant. People turn to Google to find out more. Because Google is so dominant in internet search, your neighbour and your distant aunt are also Googling. Everybody feeds the hype. But a hype can disappear as quickly as it arrived. The game has been played, the hurricane dissipates. However, sometimes the hype carries a tail of users that keep searching for the topic for multiple years.


A product launch hype is one of four types of hypes

At Trendmark, we identify four main types of hypes by origin. In our White Paper ‘Dyssecting Hypes. What can we learn from historic examples?’ we introduce new terminology to describe the respective types (go to contact page to get a free copy).

       I.        classic media hype                             ice-bucket challenge 

      II.        event hype                                         hurricanes, olympics 

     III.        proxy hype                                         frexit, nexit

   IV.        product launch hype                           iPhone, Samsung Galaxy


Master of the product launch hype

Apple has perfected the art of the ‘product launch hype’ better than anyone else (see graph 1 below). First and foremost by creating very desirable products. Secondly, their carefully choreographed annual product launch of new models kept feeding their ‘fans’ interest. This way they created a userbase that continued to search for iPhone, its models and other related search terms. Apple turned a hype into a trend, which is the ultimate goal of all product launches.


Competitors form the context of the  Frequency level.

To put the Frequency Scale into context we’ll compare it to search for a other handset manufacturers (see graph 2 below). At its launch in 2007, search for the iPhone already reached 200.000 on the Trendmark Frequency Scale. Search peaked at 1.8 million at the time of the launch of the iconic iPhone 5 in 2012. Compare that to the respectable peak of nearly 800.000 for Nokia back in 2007 and the 440.00 peak of Blackberry in 2011. Apple’s current main competitor Samsung reached 130.000 with the launch of its Galaxy phone in 2010 and a level of nearly 900.000 in the 2013 seasonal shopping peak. With the iPhone reaching 200.000 after its launch and a staggering 1.8 milion peak, Apple proved to be the true ‘master of the product launch hype.


Master has lost its mojo

It is equally remarkable that Apple has been able to keep search for their products as high as they have. Not many other companies are able to keep people searching for their products and related information. Nokia and Blackberry were once celebrated industry champions. Even Apple’s most successful competitor, Samsung, has seen search for it’s models decline by two thirds already. However, even despite Apple’s superior marketing efforts, some level of saturation has been reached, as slowing sales numbers have also indicated. 


Trendmark monitors the trend of Apples products

Today, search for the iPhone and its respective models is on a downtrend with lower peaks and lower bottoms after every new product launch. The master of the product launch hype seems to have lost its mojo. With the iPhone still dominating the company’s sales and profits, this has worried investors for some time. Trendmark follows all the company’s major products, its trends and hypes. When Apple has found a new product or business model, Trendmark is there to pick up on it.


How does the trend for the iPad or ‘Apple Pay’ look like? Interested in more charts on Apple’s products? Check out the extended blog on our website at


Get your free copy of our White Paper “Dyssecting Hypes, what can we learn from historic examples?” at our website:


Graph 1. Internet Search for iPhone (blue line) and for 21 iPhone models (stacked).  Source: Trendmark, Google Trends

Graph 1. Internet Search for iPhone (blue line) and for 21 iPhone models (stacked).

Source: Trendmark, Google Trends

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