Harry Potter vs the iPhone

Two great launches have taken place over the last few weeks, the Apple iPhone and the seventh and last Harry Potter book. So had did the launches compare?

Facet Harry Potter iPhone
What is it? A book A phone. With extras.
Audience Ostensibly children 9-12. In reality all ages. Gadget freaks and Apple fans with enough cash to spend or parents who would spend the money. Plus speculators looking to make a quick turnaround.
Cost $34.99, although many places discounted $599 plus 2 year phone contract
Queues Yes. Although pre-ordering and common sense meant that they really only formed on the day. Queues reached round blocks; the ones I saw were far larger than for iPhone Yes, some forming 5 days in advance. Press and speculation potential meant people wanted to be first.
Attire School uniform, cloaks, pointy hats (a wizard is not a wizard without one). Face paint. Jeans and t-shirts. HP fans definitely better dressed.
Typical Fan HP fan


Harry Potter fan

Originally uploaded by RachelC




Apple iPhone Launch Palo Alto – Robert Scoble

Originally uploaded by b_d_solis
Celebrities I’m avoiding reports at the moment, so no idea Over and above the tech geek celebs, Spike Jones, Whoppi Goldberg, more people I don’t know. Looking for clues on this one,
Charity Factor Not really – can’t resell it. Some ofthe first people in queues were planning on reselling for charity. Plus they got a lots of PR for being there in the first place.
Scarcity Plenty. Lots and lots all over the place Fears were proved pretty groundless as phones were available without too much rush. Initial auctioning value dropped rapidly
Sales in first days Pre-orders on Amazon over 2m. Just way bigger than the iPhone 500k?
Cool Factor errrrr, It’s a book. Not really much you can do to up the cool factor. ooohhhhhh shiny. Let me touch. It’s shiny. Wins the cool factor hands down.
Usability Only one function. Read it. But at 759 pages it makes a good door stop as well. Does lots of things well and then does not do things that it should do as a convergent device. Plus does somethings badly. Read the reports – they’re mixed. But did I say it’s shiny?
Reuse It’s a once only thing. Once you’ve read it the suspense is gone. re-reading is possible but not as much fun. Years of fun. Lots of things you can do and it has a continuing functionality. Until the battery goes.
Recyclability Yes. Out to the recycle people and back it will come as next week’s newspaper. Probably. But lots of components and chemicals so not that easy
A sequel? No, that’s your lot. The story is over and done with. JK could sit back and enjoy her riches but may produce something else – will it be as good? Yes. Absolutely. In different colours, sizes, functionalities. One that actually works in 3G. This one has a long way to go.

Now I’m off to read the book for the rest of the day. Anyone got things to add?

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One thought on “Harry Potter vs the iPhone

  1. Hi Rachel.
    Bought four books this morning for £5 each out of Asda.
    One for me and the rest for the family.
    PS Mums just pinched my copy so I will just have to set he who shell not be named on her.
    Dad.