SDK delay is A-OK with Apple PR! - Macenstein

SDK delay is A-OK with Apple PR!

The Mac universe has been rocked these past couple of day by reports that Apple’s iPhone SDK will be delayed, perhaps by as much as 3 weeks. While no doubt this news will likely account for a fair number of suicides this weekend, there is one group of people that are likely dancing a Bruce-Willis-Last Boy Scout Jig… Apple’s PR department.

I’ve mentioned before (and with no facts to back me up) that Apple must spend the least amount of money on advertising out of any major company on the planet. In my own PNOOMA Poll (that’s “Pulling Numbers Out Of My Ass) I’ve found that a good 75% of all Apple’s advertising is done by Mac rumor blogs, 20% is done by the people who read them and tell friends, and 5% is done by John Hodgman.

This shrewd business model has helped stuff Apple’s coffers to near bursting, and kudos to them. Apple doesn’t even have to air a commercial anymore, they simply need to make it, and within minutes 1000’s of Apple blogs will post it, link to it, and review it , and dissect it. In fact, Apple recently came up with some creative Flash ads that had rumor sites sending people to The New York Times and other sites running them just to see them.

To see ADS.

It’s almost like a year-round Superbowl mentality, where seeing a new Apple ad is an event onto itself, something not to be missed. And if you did miss it, odds are someone put it on YouTube within minutes of its airing, so you’re covered. Such is the dedication/obsession of the Mac faithful. We’re so desperate for Apple-related news, we’ll take Apple-related advertising as filler to get us through dry spots.

This unique mindset of the hardcore Mac user is why I see Apple’s (alleged) delay of the iPhone’s Software Development Kit as a potentially good thing for Apple. Sure, the delay gives Apple’s programmers more time to get the SDK up to snuff, but in delaying the SDK launch, Apple has inadvertently found a new way to stretch the publicity machine surrounding the iPhone a little further.

Think of the timeline surrounding the iPhone’s SDK: First, the iPhone is released without an SDK, and Apple says there won’t be one. Much speculation ensues. Next, Apple says it will release an SDK, but is vague on the date. Much speculation ensues. Next, we hear an SDK will be released “early 2008”. With Macworld approaching January 15th, much speculation ensues. Macworld comes and goes with no SDK, but we finally are told finally it will be coming in February. No hard date is given, and much speculation ensues.

Now, with a release supposedly a week or less away, the iPhone SDK-media frenzy is about as frenzied as it can get – there’s not much more frenzy whipping up to be done. Anyone who cares about it (and don’t fool yourself into thinking most iPhone owners have even heard of it) already knows about it. The big news now is “it’s coming”. All that’s left is to get it into the hands of developers, and then that’s the end of the SDK saga. And the free iPhone publicity.

But now it appears the SDK is delayed, and much speculation is once again ensuing. Is it delayed? By how long? When will Apple announce the delay, if said delay is true? Why the delay? Is Flash actually coming?

I feel if the SDK is in fact delayed, it will be for legitimate technological issues – I’m not implying Apple is holding back a finished product to squeeze some more free publicity out of the Mac blogosphere. However, what I AM saying is a delay of a couple weeks will not hurt Apple or the iPhone, and actually helps it if anything. Developers want the SDK last year. An extra 3 weeks isn’t going to make them decide to switch to Pocket PC. In fact, most Mac developers suffer from a form of “battered wife” syndrome, and are used to being kicked in the gut by the company they love only to return again for more punishment. Try as they might, Apple can’t hurt developer relations.

And as for the Mac blog-o-sphere, well, if I may be so brazen as to speak for all my fellow bloggers, the delay is awesome. We now have at least the next 3 weeks’ worth of material.

2 Responses to “SDK delay is A-OK with Apple PR!”
  1. damnit Janet says:

    Ha ha. I was one of those people who rushed to see the NYT ad, and it was on engadget too for a day. I thought they were cute, but now you made me feel bad.

  2. Dave-O says:

    I think you timeline is f’ed up because you read too many rumor sites. Take a look back at what Apple actually said.

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