Friday, August 22, 2008

If iPhone is so hot, why TV ads and fake customers?

The iPhone launch in 2007 stir up a whole new revolution in user interface and mobile devices. By now, pretty much everybody is impressed with its intuitive, gesture-based command interface. It has been widely reported that iPhone is a hot selling item around the world. So I was surprised to see an Apple TV commercial during NBC prime time Olympic shows. More shocking news: some cell phone carriers in Poland are hiring actors to line up in front of their stores (fake customers) pretending to buy iPhone. Now, they are on the borderline of deceptive commercial practices. If this were to happen in any communist country, perhaps some media would quickly term it as "propaganda".

If it's so hot, why do they even need the advertisement?! Why faking customers? Of course, many other companies also sell TV ads, if only to boost their brand. But the implication is that some merchandises are hot selling because of their brand, not because of their innate attraction to the customers. Obviously, cell phones (and especially the iPhone) are now more of a fashion item than a technology.

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