Infuriating & pleasing: Apple iOS 7


As you may have read in CNET or The Telegraph, last week we examined conversation around the launch of Apple’s latest software release, iOS7.

With over five million people talking about iOS 7 on its release last week and subsequently it trending on Twitter for several days thereafter, Apple underlined its unique position as a brand that can drive conversation on social media like no other. It’s quite an achievement when a software update becomes a major social event.

Billed by chief designer Sir Jonathan Ive as an ‘important new direction’ for the iPhone, conversation around the launch of iOS 7 by 569% from that of the iOS 6, as people took to Twitter to document the initial process of updating the software and their reactions to it.

The release also interested a wider demographic, with a majority female audience tweeting about the changes.

However, as with the recent iPhone 5s and 5c launches, Apple demonstrated the capacity to infuriate and please at the same time.

The update got off to a rocky start with 31% of the conversation over the two days post-launch detailing downloading problems; particularly around the time it took to update the software. This led to the creation of one of the most popular hashtags on the day of the release – #thestruggle – as social media users vented their frustration.

This was by no means a negative launch for Apple.  Early adopters were positive, with 42 per cent of people complimenting the way iOS 7 looked, compared to just 14 per cent of negative comments about its appearance.

However, after the first wave of excitement died down, opinion has become more polarised, with 38% of tweets complaining about the new design. Other criticism has been around performance, particularly around accusations that it drains the battery, leading to instructions on how to prevent this being widely retweeted.

Apple will probably be satisfied with the consumer reaction to iOS 7 – particularly upon launch. However, as has always been the case, it should consider a more proactive approach to handing real-time customer complaints on social media in the future.