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Day 2007.06.25

The AP on Apple’s iPhone “hype machine” (Updated [twice])

Yes, that’s right, AP says that Apple’s “hype machine” is in overdrive for the iPhone:

Even for a company that’s mastered the art of product-launch hoopla, Apple Inc. appears to have pulled out all the stops to propel iPhone hysteria into the stratosphere.

Here is the page with all of Apple’s 2007 press releases. Counting the one about Safari for Windows, Apple has issued six iPhone press releases in all of 2007, as of this date.

In contrast, these are the Associated Press stories from just the past two weeks that contain “iPhone” in either the headline or the first paragraph, not counting the one about the hype, which we’d call #1:

  1. Treo Expected to Face IPhone Pressure (AP)

    BlackBerry and Treo devices will continue to slug it out this week, as their respective companies post their latest quarterly results Thursday, a day before the launch of their much-anticipated competitor known as the iPhone.

  2. Release of iPhone has industry abuzz (AP)

    People watch an Apple iPhone advertisement outside of an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., Thursday, June 21, 2007. The hype around Apple Inc.'s upcoming iPhone is abundantly clear. But how the iPhone will leave its historical mark after June 29 is yet to be seen.  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)AP – There's hype. There's hysteria. And there's history. The hype around Apple Inc.'s upcoming iPhone is abundantly clear. So is the hysteria. But how the iPhone will leave its historical mark after Friday's launch is to be seen.

  3. Industry awaits 'revolutionary' iPhone

    (AP) Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up an Apple iPhone at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, in this Jan. 9, 2007 file photo. The hype around Apple Inc.'s upcoming iPhone is abundantly clear. But how the iPhone will leave its historical mark after June 29 is yet to be seen. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)AP – There's hype. There's hysteria. And there's history. The hype around Apple Inc.'s upcoming iPhone is abundantly clear. So is the hysteria. But how the iPhone will leave its historical mark after Friday's launch is to be seen.

    (Also moved as “Consumers, Industry Eagerly Await IPhone”)

  4. Qualcomm CEO Welcomes IPhone (AP)

    Qualcomm Inc. has nothing to do with making Apple Inc.’s iPhone, but the chief executive officer of the world’s No. 2 cell phone chipmaker said Thursday that he has plenty to gain.

  5. AT&T Adds Staff to Prepare for IPhone (AP)

    AT&T Inc., which will be the exclusive carrier of Apple Inc.’s much-hyped new iPhone, has hired 2,000 extra workers to staff its company-owned stores for the launch, a spokesman said Thursday.

  6. Market Spotlight: Gauging IPhone Impact (AP)

    When Apple Inc. releases the iPhone on June 29, the hybrid gadget will undoubtedly change the face of the company which, until recently, was known as Apple Computer Inc.

  7. Verizon: IPhone Doesn’t Change Our Plans (AP)

    The Apple Inc. iPhone won’t change the game plan for Verizon Communications Inc., Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said Wednesday.

  8. iPhone to play YouTube clips (AP)

    Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone in San Francisco, California January 9, 2007. Apple's widely anticipated music and video playing iPhone will allow subscribers to wirelessly stream material from Google. (Kimberly White/Reuters)AP – The eagerly awaited iPhone will be able to play Youtube videos when it ships next week, Apple Inc. announced Wednesday.

  9. AT&T Launches Cell-To-Cell Live Video (AP)

    AT&T Inc. on Tuesday launched what it said is the first service letting callers share live video between cell phones. The new AT&T Video Share service won’t apply to the iPhone, which uses an older network.

  10. Apple: iPhone battery life improved (AP)

    In this undated file photo provided by Apple, Apple's new iPhone that was introduced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during keynote address at MacWorld Conference & Expo is shown in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007. Shares of Apple Inc. jumped in trading Monday, June 18, 2007 as hype surrounding the upcoming release of the company's much-anticipated iPhone continued to drive up the stock's price. (AP Photo/Apple, file)AP – Apple Inc. gave rival smart phone makers another reason for heartburn Monday, claiming its upcoming iPhone will have a battery life that exceeds the company's previous estimate and the battery life of competing phones.

  11. Sector Snap: Online Music Stocks Mixed (AP)

    Shares of online music providers were mixed Monday, with Apple Inc. shares gaining ground on more buzz around the iPhone.

  12. Apple Shares Gain on More IPhone Hype (AP)

    Shares of Apple Inc. jumped in trading Monday as hype surrounding the upcoming release of the company’s much-anticipated iPhone continued to drive up the stock’s price.

  13. iPhones only at AT&T, Apple stores (AP)

    AP – Customers clamoring to get their hands on Apple Inc.'s highly anticipated iPhone better make sure they're at the right store.

  14. Out of the Gate: AT&T Rises (AP)

    Shares of AT&T Inc. ticked higher Thursday, after a Bear Stearns analyst raised his price target on the telecommunications company, expecting gains from its exclusive deal to carry Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

  15. Sector Glance: Online Content Mixed (AP)

    Shares of online content providers traded mixed Wednesday, with Apple Inc.’s shares slipping as some investors sold shares in the weeks before the company’s highly anticipated iPhone is released.

  16. Apple Extends Web Browser to Windows (AP)

    Apple Inc. has set the stage for yet another rivalry with Microsoft Corp. by launching a Windows version of its Safari Internet browser and inviting developers to create Web-based programs for its upcoming iPhone.

Keep in mind that AP moved multiple versions of most of these stories. We collected 52 separate copies of these 16 17 (we forgot the “hype” story itself) stories. Just in 14 days. Just from AP – the service that says Apple has gone into overdrive to hype the iPhone by issuing six press releases in six months.

There is something about this phone that makes people absolutely lose their reason.

Update: For those who think it’s unfair to leave out mention that Apple has been running iPhone commercials, that’s a fair point. After all, running commercials for something not yet available is certainly, to use AP’s words, “pulling out all the stops to propel iPhone hysteria into the stratosphere.” It’s never been done before. By the way, have you heard there’s a fourth Die Hard movie coming out this week? Where did you hear that?

Meanwhile, Apple has issued two more iPhone press releases: one about iTunes activation, and one about data plan pricing. AP, in return, has already moved three versions of a story about that over the wires:

  1. Apple, AT&T unveil monthly iPhone plans (AP)

    iPhone Service Plans.  (PRNewsFoto/AT&T and Apple)AP – AT&T Inc. and Apple Inc. on Tuesday said wireless service for the iPhone will range from $59.99 per month to $99.99 per month.

One version in “technology,” one version in “finance,” and one version in “top stories.” How evil Apple must be to somehow make AP do that. That makes 18 stories in 15 days.

Update #2: We’re not going to stay on this forever, but it’s worth noting that just one day after AP complained about iPhone hype, the wire service ran four new iPhone stories – the one mentioned above in the first update, and three more:

  1. IPhone May Not Rock Music Industry (AP)

    Carlos Gomez could be the recording industry’s ideal mobile music customer. His phone is his music player of choice and he spends about $100 a month buying songs for it — often on impulse after hearing a tune on his car radio.

  2. Customers Line Up for IPhone Launch (AP)

    For Jessica Rodriguez, waiting four days for an iPhone is nothing when the prize is “the next big thing.” On Tuesday, Rodriguez became the fourth person to line up outside Apple Inc.’s Fifth Avenue store in New York.

  3. IPhone Plan Pricing Lower Than Expected (AP)

    At $59.99 a month for 450 minutes, the cheapest available plan from AT&T Inc. for the Apple iPhone costs the same as a comparable voice-and-data package from Sprint Nextel Corp.

We’re not even going to count this one, where the AP ran a photo of Steve Jobs and the iPhone in a totally unrelated story about a Paul McCartney concert just because it would get more hits and more attention:

  • Fans camp out for free McCartney show (AP)

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs plays a Beatles Song from a Beatles album playing on iTunes as he introduces the new iPhone at the MacWorld in San Francisco, in this Jan. 9, 2007 file photo. The launch of Apple Inc.'s iPhone has stoked optimism on the part of music company executives that the handset will usher in a new wave of easier to use mobile music devices or even entice more music fans into embracing the vision of the phone as music player - and buy more music. But, analysts say, mobile music sales aren't likely to swell much on the coattails of the iPhone as long as users are limited to loading music via their PCs and are blocked from buying music wirelessly. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)AP – Equipped with folding chairs and sleeping bags, hundreds of Paul McCartney fans lined the street outside a funky Hollywood record store on Tuesday to secure a seat for a free show there by the ex-Beatle.

Words fail us.