iPhone 12 launch: Apple enjoys high Ad Awareness as it releases its first 5G phones

Russell FeldmanHead of Client Services
December 16, 2020, 4:02 PM GMT+0

At Apple’s 2020 iPhone launch event the company announced four new devices – the lower-end iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, and the higher-end iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max – each with a new processor, a raft of new features, and prices that range from $729 at the lower end to $1,399 at the upper end.

Along with the $399 iPhone SE – launched earlier in 2020 – it’s a suite of products that is designed to cater to a wide range of consumers at different budget levels.

Data from YouGov BrandIndex indicates that Apple’s efforts to promote the iPhone 12 range (the company’s first-ever 5G handsets) had an effect on the iPhone brand’s consumer Ad Awareness (which measures whether a consumer has seen an advertisement for a product in the past two weeks) in five key markets: Australia, China, Germany, the UK, and the US.

Following the announcement of the new products, scores in the US rose from 35.5 on October 12 to a peak of 46.5 (Nov. 23); scores in China rose from 34.1 to a peak of 49.8 (16/11); and scores in Australia rose from 19.5 to a peak of 31.2 (31/10). In Germany and the UK, iPhone’s performance within this metric more than doubled – rising from 14.2 to a top score of 33.7 (24/11) in the former, and from 15.8 to a high point of 33.8 in the UK (22/11). It is worth pointing out that the new iPhones represented only one part of Apple’s offering in the UK, with new iPads and AirPods featuring as part of the company’s seasonal communications strategy.

Naturally, seeing an ad won’t necessarily correspond to an increase in consideration – so it’s worth thinking about how much bang Apple may have gotten for its considerable marketing buck.

Looking at the brand’s Consideration scores reveals that between the announcement of the iPhone 12 range and the launch of the 12 Pro Max/Mini on November 13, Consideration scores rose in Germany, Australia, and China.

Movement in the UK was more stagnant, but still saw improvement from October 13. In the US, Consideration actually fell during this period, falling from 32.1 (12/10) to 31.3 (13/11), though it peaked at 34.8 (5/11). In China, which had the highest Ad Awareness of any markets in our study, Consideration increased (24.2 – 26.9), peaking at 30.0 (8/11) and building to 33.6 by 27/11.

Though the country represents an important market for the iPhone, it’s one where Apple has struggled in recent years – with CEO Tim Cook going as far as to attribute part of the company’s results in Q4 2019 to its underperformance in China, which has in turn been attributed to Sino-US trade tensions over Huawei and TikTok (among other things).

Apple’s iPhone also did well in Germany which saw Consideration rise from 13.8 to 19.6 between the announcement and the release of the 12 Pro Max and 12 Mini, hitting a high of 23.2 on October 30. Current Customer scores, which measure whether consumers currently own a product from a brand, also rose in some countries: the UK, for example, saw performance within this metric rise from 30.7 to 34.4 (11/10 – 13/11).

Ultimately, the iPhone 12 series has seen a broadly positive reception so far. In a year where the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the international industry, Apple will take that as a win.

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