On October 4th 2011 Apple announced the addition of the iPhone 4S to its product line which will be available to customers on October 12th. This was likely to the dismay of web users who have been anxiously awaiting Apple to announce that it would be releasing the iPhone 5 instead of an upgrade to the current iPhone. In advance of this much-anticipated announcement, six of the top ten search terms containing iPhone included variations of “iPhone 5” the week ending October 1 while “iPhone 4S” was only the 47th most popular iPhone-related search term during the same time period. There was even paid search activity for queries such as ‘verizon iphone 5’ to capture traffic on the anticipated product. There was particular interest in searches around newest iPhone carriers Verizon and Sprint, features and price. In the 4 rolling weeks ending October 1, the top websites receiving traffic from the search term “iPhone 5” were iPhone5Release.org, a site that features rumors on the iPhone 5 release.
Hitwise daily search data from the day of the announcement, October 4th revealed that the top keywords used in searches for iPhone on October 4th included content related to release date, Sprint, and Siri (the “virtual personal assistant” that will debut with the 4S model). Additionally, the variations of “iPhone” combined with the terms “vs” or “compare” highlights that web users were comparing the iPhone 4S with Android devices (specifically the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Motorola Droid Bionic) and the Blackberry Torch.
When compared with previous iPhone releases and upgrades, data from the past three years shows that all searches for “iPhone” peaked the week ending June 26, 2010 which coincided with the launch of the iPhone 4 last year. The addition of Verizon and Sprint in addition to AT&T were also strong drivers of interest.
Thanks to Lauren Rice, Analyst with the Custom Data & Analysis team, for today’s iPhone analysis.
Learn more about the author, Heather Dougherty