It's pretty fascinating watching the buzz flow on the iPhone product that was formally announced earlier today at MacWorld. The consumer reaction is nothing short of amazing. If you look at the last chart below from one the BuzzMetrics tools, you can see how commentary is unloading from the blogosphere nearly second by second. Moreover, there's a fairly intense degree of emotion in the reactions. Also interesting is the fact that so much of the commentary is in multiple languages, which suggests this product launch resonating across the globe. Equally interesting, if you look at the exhibit on the right, which carefully analyzes millions of keywords in real-time from blog posts, you can see that buzz from the iPhone launch dominates the day's terminology, from "iPhone" to "MacWorld" to "keynote" to "Apple." Equally interesting, very few terms from CES (Consumer Electronics Show) appear to be registering on the radar of popular vernacular.
Caged Evangelism: As both a Mac and iPod owner, I can understand much of the excitement, but there's more than a little curious anticipation going on here. What we have is a form of "caged evangelism" insofar as the enthusiasm is finding a high point long before the product even hits the shelf. We saw the same phenomenon back in the Fall with the Nintendo Wii.
Feeding the Purchase Cycle: Of course, all this feeds the purchase cycle, as these mostly favorable endorsements flood Google search results, building further excitement and anticipation among the curious "search before you buy" crowd. Indeed, nearly half of the indexed pieces of content so far against the search query "apple" and "iphone" are in the first person. Which means with the exception of media writers penning commentary in the first person, most of the commentary is coming from consumers throwing in their two-cents on the iPhone. Today's announcement basically flooded the shelf space. Come June, when the product actually launches, we'll see another wave of "post-experience" buzz.