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Home » What makes you want Apple’s new iPhone, even if you probably don’t need it

What makes you want Apple’s new iPhone, even if you probably don’t need it

Apple’s launch event yesterday introduced a lot of new features and products, and of course, its new flagship model – the iPhone 14. The audience grew, compared to the iPhone 13 launch event, back to about 2.7 million, which was also the peak viewer count on YouTube for 2020, when the iPhone 12 was revealed. After the 13 being a mere update, people seem to have expected bigger improvements this year.

Apple’s big player: the iPhone

The iPhone is apples most important retail hardware product. It accounted for over 50% of their sales in 2021. 

pie chart of apple sales
Sales of Apple products, source: Bloomberg

That is the reason the event is focused on the presentation of their number one money-maker. And so it doesn’t surprise, that it took most time on the schedule. I will focus on the new iPhone, and showcase in this article how Apple creates an urge to buy it.

The problem with the notch

While Apple showed us a lot of new features, the one thing that people probably talk the most about is their new dynamic island. Modern phones have an issue by design: Nearly all of them feature a selfie camera and speaker at the top of the screen. This was called notch by apple, and it’s size was shrinked before, but this area is space you can’t use. It is blocked by the peripherals, and people don’t want that. And when people who use your products don’t want a thing, you try everything to change that. 

There were countless rumours before the event regarding the notch. It would disappear, Apple would place the camera and sensors behind the screen, so it can be used to its fullest… Apple engineers must have reached a point in building the iPhone 14, where they had to say “we can’t do it”. And this brings us to our first point.

Making people want a design flaw: Apple’s biggest new feature

When you can’t solve something, you need to create a workaround. And telling people that you failed while presenting them your alternative solution, that doesn’t make people want to buy your stuff. Instead Apple relied on it’s marketing geniuses, and created dynamic island. 

Apple’s dynamic island pictured through a phone call
Welcome to dynamic island. Image from

The unusable space on the screen gets incorporated into a new place to show notifications, music player, incoming calls, and much more useful information. Apple took the notch, transformed it into a pill, and everything is basically the same – they just found a great way to hide it with software. They gave it a cool name, created a cool presentation video and overlaid it with music by K-Pop star Luna. And there you have it, the feature that isn’t a feature – and an annoyance that turned into a trademark that everyone wants now. Welcome to dynamic island.

The power of music

My previous example of the music they used can be extended to every single product. We all know that feeling: we link certain songs to different memories in our life. You probably remember the song that played during your first kiss, you and your significant other may have a song that is “your song”. That summer vacation where Mambo №5 played nonstop. Music stimulates us, and why not use it for marketing then? And even if the music alone won’t make you buy the new iPhone, maybe you just tweet about it?

This is free marketing for Apple, and the best things in life come for free. Let’s say you are a huge fan of Luna, and you see apples product video. It makes you like Apple more, just because they used a song by an artist you like. 

Life is colourful

One thing that has become tradition by now, are Apple’s many colours. Colour is a basic of brand psychology and marketing. Colour creates different moods and emotions. Everything in your life has colour and if you want it or not, you react to it. Your brain links certain things to colour. 

Overview of the available colours for the iPhone 14
The available colours. Image by Apple

When you buy a product, you often want to express yourself. That is why brands give you the possibility to customize. When you buy your new shoes online, you can adjust them to your liking. And that doesn’t stop by colour choices. The iPhone is no difference here. Apple wants you to identify with it, so they let you chose a colour that suits you. Or at least they let you think that way. By changing the colour palette every year, they add something special to their product. Imagine that colleague at work, which sees your new iPhone and says “oh, is that the new deep purple iPhone?”. It triggers an emotion. And emotion is something Apple loves to use.

It’s all about Apple’s language

Apple uses emotional marketing not only in design decisions. They have whole phrases and words are based on it. When you watch their event, take a notepad and draw a line every time on of the following words are said:

  • You
  • New
  • Fast
  • Amazing
  • Best
  • Exciting
  • We can’t wait

What? You need a bigger notepad? These words are power words, and they have a lasting impact on you. Research on these words found out that they work. They make you feel a certain way, and they make you want that new iPhone. Or Apple watch. Or both.

Apple’s Experts will know if it’s good or not

Pay attention to the people that present you the new features and products. They are experts. Not Celebrities. You might think that Apple avoids it to pay e.g Kayne West millions just to advert their new product. That is not the case. They would happily pay him. If it would sell their product. But truth is: it won’t. Most of the time you will see people presenting who are working at Apple. Or are experts in something they see their target group in. Take Mike Huish for example, CEO of Huish Outdoor, a wholesaler for diving equipment. This guy knows diving. And who would be a better fit to tell you about a $1000 expensive Apple Watch Ultra, that is aimed at extreme athletes like divers? Or Julz Arney, director for fitness technologies at Apple. 

Image of Julz Arney who talks about the new Apple Watch Ultra
Julz Arney talks about the new Apple Watch Ultra.

They are creditable to know a lot about what they are talking about. And when we are not sure about something, or lack the knowledge, we try to find an expert that can help us. And in our brain it doesn’t matter if these people get paid to tell us what we want to hear. We trust them.

Time is rare

With times where TikTok is the most downloaded App in 2022 so far, we see that attention of customers like you and me is depleting. Our attentions spans decrease while we watch videos that go longer than 10 Minutes, and at 30 Minutes statistics on a lot of videos show viewers stopped watching. Apple mastered the concept of a video being as long as necessary but as short as possible. None of the product presentation videos go longer than 25 Minutes, with the iPhone Pro’s part of the event being exactly that long. Again, no surprise, as this is their most important product.

While there are more, these are the biggest factors why you feel that urge to get this new iPhone, even though it’s features are not revolutionary.

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