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Online Trends

Published August 30th 2016

React: Will the iPhone 7 Crash and Burn? Opinion is Divided on Twitter

The Brandwatch React team takes a look at the social data surrounding the iPhone 7 ahead of its expected announcement at September 7th's Apple Event.

Apple’s next Event will take place on September 7th and the iPhone 7 is expected to make its debut.

While other tech will be revealed at the Event, the iPhone 7 is expected to be the headliner and lots has been said about the device online with so-called “leaked” images and specs circulating quickly across social media.

The Brandwatch React team has taken a look at the overall conversation as well as gathering insight from tech influencers to see what can be learned about the fate of the hotly anticipated smartphone.

Months of hype

For the iPhone 7 analysis, the team took three months of tweets about the device (excluding retweets) as well as zooming in on mentions from the top 200 most influential Twitter accounts with an expressed interest in tech who have tweeted about the iPhone 7 in the last three months.

Measuring mentions alone, Apple’s invite (sent out on the 29th of August) caused the largest mention spike for the last three months. The second largest occurred on the 8th August when rumors spread that the home button will be ditched.

iPhone 7 mentions

General hype has rose steadily over the last three months, as the expected September Event neared. While spikes are sporadic in most cases peaks in influencer tweets matched those of the general Twitter population.

One thing’s for sure, the world will be watching this Apple event.

iphone 7 world geotag

Controversial features

Aside from the home button (which is a fairly big part of both influencer and general conversation), the headphone jack rumors are probably the most controversial thing surrounding the new iPhone.

There’s a lot of negativity from consumers surrounding the lack of headphone jack, with some threatening to boycott Apple smartphones.

Maybe it’s not so bad though. With Bluetooth headphones improving in both quality and value and the fact that regular headphones will be useable with an adapter, writer David Carnoy thinks consumers will come to live without a headphone jack.

Topics iphone 7

Another big deal in the conversation is “Space Black”. iPhone users may be familiar with Apple’s use of “space gray” on the latest models, but Space Black implies a darker shade available for the iPhone 7.

In the top mentioned words and phrases, the tech influencers were more likely to place emphasis on the camera and finer details of the iPhone 7 (see “dual-lens camera”, “iOS 10” and “pressure-sensitive home button”). In fact, the new iPhone’s camera is hot topic.

Looking at mentions of the top discussed rumored features across the three month period, we found that the iPhone 7’s camera was being mentioned most (taking up around 7% of the overall iPhone 7 conversation on Twitter). The spikes over time reveal new rumors or leaked images circulating in bursts in the lead up to the invitations being sent.

iphone 7 features

Here’s what the overall numbers look like for 1st June – 29 August 2016.

iPhone feature Overall mentions % of feature conversation (in this table) % of overall conversation
Camera 39,934 42% 7%
Headphone jack 26,151 27% 5%
Home button 19,261 20% 3%
Space Black 10,546 11% 2%

 

Decoding the invite

The invite for the upcoming Apple Event was distributed on 29 August, causing that enormous mention spike in our hype chart.

While many took to Twitter to attempt to decode the invite (see this tweet including the invite and some interesting annotations), the general consensus is that the invite hints to the capabilities of the device’s camera.

Napier Lopez offers a run-down of what he thinks the iPhone’s latest camera will be able to do on The Next Web that budding photographers could be big fans of.

Alternatively, the invite could be another kick in the teeth for headphone jack lovers.

Will people buy it?

We recently took a look at the conversation surrounding the iPhone SE on social to see if social data could have predicted it’s success.

When we analyzed the Apple Event in March, the iPhone SE was discussed incredibly positively and went on to become one of the top selling devices of the year (a “surprise” hit for Apple) with consumers getting on board with the brand message across social media. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how Apple positions the next iteration of the iPhone and how it goes down with online audiences.

Could the popularity of the iPhone SE already this year, coupled with the fact that a 10-year-anniversary iPhone with more radical changes is expected in 2017, mean that iPhone 7 sales suffer? Time will tell.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us react@brandwatch.com for more information

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From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.