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Dialing Up Online Insights for iPhone 7

News surrounding Apple’s 2016 product event dominated tech headlines last week. We dug into the data to better understand the impact of the event and related online conversations on the iPhone 7 announcement, Apple’s most heavily anticipated product announcement.
 
First, it was clear that Apple maintained its mojo with regard to using highly produced product events to drive buzz. We saw conversation volume related to the iPhone rise 744% between September 6th and the day of the iPhone 7 reveal on September 7th.
 
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Next we looked at the demographics of people talking about the iPhone surrounding the announcement. While the product was being talked about by a relatively broad audience, there was a clear audience skew toward M18–34 as the core demographic driving the conversation.
 
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Lastly, we analyzed sentiment for all conversations surrounding the iPhone before and during the announcement. It was clear that, despite some innovative features such as the iPhone 7’s new camera, the controversy surrounding the device’s lack of a headphone jack dominated the conversation, increasing negative sentiment surrounding the device.
 
In late August, positive anticipation around the product launch event had pushed the iPhone’s sentiment to its highest level in months with 63% positive and only 7% negative sentiment. But as everyone’s wireless headphone fears were confirmed, negative sentiment increased, shifting the balance to 40% positive and 47% negative sentiment during the product’s launch on September 7th. In fact the only recent event driving more negative sentiment for the product was the Apple’s Spyware controversy on August 25th.
 
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Initial data suggests that negative reactions to the headphone controversy hijacked much of the online conversation surrounding the iPhone 7 launch. Even the relatively young demographic driving the conversation was somewhat unforgiving in their reactions to this bold product update. Still, Apple succeeded once again in driving massive online attention for it’s latest product update and there may be time to shift more focus to other innovative features, such as the iPhone 7’s two lens camera, as the device begins to ship this month.