Apple's extreme anticipation building has clearly worked in the past (e.g., iPhone). Is it an approach that should be used as THE method for product launches? There isn't a clear cut answer, but there are some key questions that Apple must have considered to validate its current approach:
- Share value: MacWorld creates a very compressed, binary event for investors. Apple stock is extremely volatile during Macworld. Would a more conservative product launch approach reduce stock volatility?
- Revenue: Macworld clearly has many enthusiasts that want to purchase what is announced immediately. Would a more traditional product launch schedule be better attuned to products that are >$500 where some will buy based on research and others will buy based on brand?
- Cost: Macworld must clearly be the key date in the life of many developers at Apple. Does this one year cycle put artificial constraints/deadlines on the R&D cycle and delay products coming to market?
- Competitors: Macworld provides a point in time announcement that prevents competitors from scooping Apple. Is this advantage substantial or does it not matter given the prevalence of fast followers?