Following the script: how to spin the new iPhone non-story into 20 non-stories

By the time Apple actually gets around to selling the iPhone 5 to Australian consumers, local media outlets will each have managed to publish approximately 20 non-stories on this vital topic.

Most media outlets think the iPhone5 will look like this. Photo: techradar

Following the script from previous iPhone releases, we can expect to see the following stories (I’ve crossed out those already reported at time of writing):

  1. Rumours of radical new iPhone design
  2. Pictures leak of new iPhone design
  3. New iPhone to be somehow not backward compatible with old iPhone
  4. Apple won’t announce new iPhone US release date
  5. Manufacturing problems may push back new iPhone release date
  6. Round-up of all new iPhone rumour stories to date
  7. Apple still won’t announce new iPhone US release date
  8. Apple announces new iPhone, reveals US release date but not local release date
  9. Apple still won’t announce new iPhone local release date
  10. Apple announces new iPhone local release date
  11. Apple won’t reveal new iPhone local pricing
  12. New iPhone launches overseas
  13. Overseas users report problems with new iPhone
  14. New iPhone still not here
  15. Manufacturer can’t keep up with demand for new iPhone, may impact local release date
  16. Apple announces new iPhone local pricing
  17. Apple refuses to comment on why new iPhone costs more locally than in the US
  18. New iPhone almost here
  19. People queuing outside Apple store ahead of new iPhone release
  20. Round-up of media reports about people queuing outside Apple store for new iPhone

What we’re losing sight of here is that the entire basis for these 20 stories is: company launches new model of existing product. That’s it.

Did the media go into a similar frenzy when Holden updated its Captiva range of SUVs in July? Or when Breville announced the Handy Stand Mixer (BHM600) in April? No. Which is a shame, because the new Captivas have achieved fuel economy improvements of up to 10% and can run on bio-ethanol, E10, unleaded, premium or any combination. Also, the Handy Stand Mixer is a versatile baker’s tool that can track mixing times and that features unique load sensing beaters that intuitively control the power required for each mixing task.

My friends in the media will respond that new iPhone stories must be important because people always click on them. I have no doubt stories with ‘new iPhone’ in the headline attract more clicks than stories about a press council ruling on the Sydney Morning Herald‘s ad-get/advertorial about the NBN. I can’t argue with that, except to say that the media ignores any responsibility it has in perpetuating the crap-click lifecycle:

Journos dish out crap, people click on crap, journos think people want crap, journos dish out more crap. Which came first, the crap or the clicks?

The question remains: is the media serving the public interest or its bottom-line interest in the endless free publicity it gives to Apple products?

(I have plagiarised myself somewhat: the original iPhone stories list was here and the crap-click lifecycle was from here. I have also included the phrase ‘new iPhone’ in my headline, making me a click whore.)

One thought on “Following the script: how to spin the new iPhone non-story into 20 non-stories

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