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July 11, 2008: The Day Apple Could Have Used A Blog

According to Apple CEO, today was the “biggest launch of his career.” That’s quite a statement from the guy who launched the iMac, iPod, and original iPhone. Suffice it to say…today was important for Apple, if for no other reason than because Steve said so.

Now it’s pretty well known that Apple isn’t too interested in employees blogging or even an official corporate blog. There’s an unofficial Apple blog and even a Fake Steve Jobs blog (which appears to be going away now incidentally) but nothing official from the people who inside the apple. For the last several years Apple really hasn’t had to worry about their own blog. After all, they had/have millions of raving fans to say everything for them. Then today came. The biggest launch day in Jobs’ career and it hasn’t gone well for customers.

What Happened Today:

In a nutshell two things happened today from what I’ve read (and heard). One the one hand the hardest of hardcore iPhone enthusiasts stood in line for days and hours to get the new iPhone. According to reports, many people walked away disappointed today due to a lack of supply. The bigger issue today, however, was that for the (presumably) hundreds of thousands who did purchase today, the activation servers at Apple were down for hours. This rendered the new iPhones inoperable and the old iPhones for those making the switch inoperable as well. I saw many an Apple fan not happy with Apple today by just watching Twitter.

So, back to the blog…if Apple had a blog today they would have been able to tell customers what was going on and when they could expect it to be fixed. If Apple had a blog they would have been talking directly to their biggest supporters (because who else waits that long for something you can walk in the store for in a few days?) If Apple had a blog it wouldn’t have fixed the problems but it would have changed the conversation.

The good news for Apple is that it has a ton of relational equity to spend. Today it spent some by all accounts. Apple will probably be fine. They’ll even be fine without a blog, but they’re one of a very few number of companies where people would basically say, “it was a terrible experience but it was ‘worth the hell.’” Apple has this equity and brand loyalty. You don’t. You (and I) never will. If you don’t have a blog then how will you communicate during your own iPocalypse?

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