Archive for January, 2012

iPhone 4S Launch in the UAE

Yes, it’s here! On December 16th Apple officially launched the iPhone4S in the UAE. The Social Media Universe rose up in excitement, the new iPhone was the talkof the town, social media users shared their thoughts on its features, specifications, applications and of course about Siri.  In this Buzz Report SocialEyez tried to identify the main topics being discussed, user perception and sentiment. The search was conducted for a 22 day period starting from December 4th until December 25th.

SocialEyez team of analysts narrowed the discussions down to two most popular or discussed subjects / topics.

  1. Users discussing if the iPhone was their number one choice and if it was as appealing as other devices introduced by Apple or its competitors.
  2. Users asking questions about its release date, price and availability. Discussions on delay in delivery was repetitive, many users stressed the fact across social media.

Topic 1: General sentiment towards the iPhone

Neutral:

The majority of comments were neutral opinions, users were discussing basic information about the iPhone with the simple intention of sharing information.

Examples of popular comments: “Your iPhone’s home button isn’t as responsive as it used to be, here is a solution: http://t.co/YiYENEvd Amazing! It works.” or “LOL!!! Make Your iPhone Read Any Text Aloud with Just a Few Taps http://t.co/6ACptoIR,” relating to Siri, the new natural language user interface.

With regards to the positive and negative coverage users were inclined to have either very strong positive or negative opinions towards the iPhone.

Positive:

When it comes to Apple there is the popular ‘iPhone Lovers’ group. These set of users adore everything created by Apple. Normal posts contain messages like “I miss my iPhone”, “Loving my new iPhone!” or “Retweet if you have an #iPhone.” Users also share their excitement for special apps and tools. For example, a post from a Dubai based user: “Got to say that I think I’m falling in love. Google maps on the iPhone is truly my soul mate and saves the day every time ;-)”. Another user posted: “I’m realizing that everything I thought was cool on my old android phone is AMAZING on my #iPhone! #nevergoingback”, while user SaraAljawi adds: “Done with blackberry world. I am tweeting by speaking to this awesome iPhone how cool is that!!”

Negative:

On the other hand there exists the ‘iPhone opposers’ – these group of social media users are no less strong and persistent. The release of the new iPhone couldn’t change their negative opinions. One user quotes: “It is a useless device, just a waste of money. Nothing special with iPhone 4S”, while another user states: “Stupid iPhone is effin up today.” User _Dreamkeeper remarks: “I’m never going to ditch my Nokia E7 for an iPhone. Ever.” Interestingly some users previously seemed to like or at least own an iPhone but had now changed their mind.  A disappointed user from the UAE explains: “I got my iPhone 4 S last month and it’s a great disappointment. It’s just a hype and SIRI isn’t good because it’s predominantly made for the US consumer.” Twitter-user Sweet_luv_21 adds: “I’ll purchase Black berry soon ~ good bye IPhone!”

Overall by comparing the positive and negative reactions posted by users there is a clear winner. The share of comments that were in favor of the new iPhone reached approximately two-thirds, while only one-third of the buzz were negative opinions. The peak in volume was during the period December 11th – 13th, a few days before the device was launched in the UAE. This might be related to the media coverage in local newspapers and the telecom operators such as Etisalat and its announcement related to the start of pre-ordering on December 11th.

Topic 2: Sales and availability of the iPhone

With the official launch of the iPhone sale on the December 16th long queues were lined up and the UAE telecom operators Etisalat and du witnessed a surge in iPhone4S sales and bookings at customer care kiosks across Dubai. Gulfnews quotes an Etisalat clerk who describes the demand as overwhelming: “I’m quite surprised, a lot of people want this new version of the iPhone4 and they want it right now.” Many social media users were upset with delivery problems and insufficient information. For example on Facebook user Kristofer Mariano posted: “I have went to 3 of your business centre they told me not yet released and maybe i cant have coz its already all PREBOOKED…. how is it possible? I did ask them aswell if i can pre book they said not possible… so some specialtreatments to others???” On the official du Facebook Page Azhar Abdu Muhammed posted: “Greetings! I’m Azhar and I just want to tell that suprisingly your shop disregard my request to avail the iphone 4s that you had advertise in your site. The staff told me that I can’t purchase or avail the iphone 4s because I haven’t received any messages from you.”

The most popular query was about the price of the new iPhone and its availability. Users shared information on where these devices were out of stock and which telecom was offering better plans and packages with the iPhone. Dubai based user Waleed Jameel aks: “No branch or Business Center is open on Friday. So where exactly is one supposed to go and find out about iPhone 4S from??”, another user promoted the iPhone in KSA: “iPhone 4s in KSA is cheaper see the plan…”. Social Media was a medium users to share updated information, to assist users by providing them with correct information. Brands need to be extra cautious when announcing new products on social media, a good social media plan can play a crucial role on consumers trends.

Scope Note:

The Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that recently buzzed on various Social Media platforms. This explicit search was conducted on all Social Media platforms (mainly Twitter and Facebook) in the UAE in Arabic and English language starting from December 4th until December 25th. The focus of the research was on consumer discussions related to the launch of the new iPhone 4s.

If you are further interested in monitoring any special event, political development or a certain brand/product we welcome you to contact us at info@social-eyez.com. We also appreciate any suggestions and improvements regarding this Blog. Also follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook-Page to get regular updates regarding future Buzz Reports.

Recent published Buzz-Reports:

Egypt Elections

UAE National Day

Jailed Blogger: Maikel Nabil

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