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When the future lands

The launch of Apple's iPhone was a school example of successful marketing. But is the novelty more than a costly toy for the tech upper class?

By Henning André Søgaard, Silicon Valley, San Francisco

[mobile] Most people have probably been introduced to last week's launch of Apple's mobile phone iPhone in the US. Ever since the solemn unveiling at the Mac Congress in January, the smartphone has been the subject of a rumor and hype that is unparalleled even in Apple's history. Rumors and speculation on the web, where Apple products are almost cultured, have given the wireless thing the nickname Jesus Phone. A full 500.000 copies were ripped away in the first few hours after it was out, and the value of Apple shares skyrocketed, from $ 114 to $ 122 in record time.

Marketing

Much of the secret behind Apple and iPhone's success so far is undoubtedly in the hype. Apple founder Steve Jobs is known for his ability to create an almost fanatical interest around the launch of his products.

"Ever since the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, Apple has known which strings to play to capture customer interest," said Jeremy Horwitz, editor of the tech website iLounge, a meeting place for iPod and iTunes enthusiasts around the world.

He is a tech-saver himself, but has never seen anything near the iPhone hype.

- How many companies can advertise a product six months in advance and not only maintain interest, but continue to build up the level of expectations until the product is put up for sale, he asks rhetorically.

Now the hype and hysteria surrounding new products is nothing new in today's competitive entertainment market – the launch of the Harry Potter books and new PlayStation games are just two. . .

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