Whether you believe one source or another, the iPhone 5 announcement is still most likely anywhere from 3 to 6 months away. And yet, we are beginning to see some top retailers focusing their online advertising efforts on the “iPhone 5″ keyword. Does this indicate that an iPhone 5 release could come sooner than even the most impatient rumors suggest?
As it currently stands, the tech world remains transfixed on the issue of when the iPhone 5 will make its way onto the scene. Week after week, tech sites like the iPhone 5 News Blog report and comment on breaking news stories from sources close to Apple, as well as people close to the scene in Korea and Japan who purport to have insider information on the component manufacturing for the next iPhone. One thing, however, is certain: no one is predicting an imminent release of the iPhone 5.
And yet, Amazon.com seems to already be advertising for the iPhone 5.
A simple search of the “iPhone 5″ keyword on Google reveals an eyebrow-raising ad, as seen in the screen shot to the left. Unlike AT&T, who has obviously bought an ad placement for the iPhone 5 but has not written their ad content to include the “iPhone 5″ keyword, the Amazon.com ad is clearly advertising for the iPhone 5.
What does this ad on Google possibly reveal about the release date of the iPhone 5? Could it be that Amazon, the top e-commerce website in the world today, knows something about the iPhone 5 release that has eluded even the most plugged-in Apple news breakers?
As I’m sure you can imagine, the “iPhone 5″ keyword is becoming an increasingly popular search term on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other top search engines. This time last year, “iPhone 5″ received fewer than 1,000 searches per month worldwide. Currently, however, the “iPhone 5″ keyword is yielding 1.8 million searches a month worldwide, with 450,000 of them coming from the United States, according to Google’s own AdWords keyword tool. And when you consider that “iPhone 4″ currently yields a search of almost 25 million world searches a month, with 5 million coming from the U.S., it’s no wonder that Amazon would want to capitalize on the marketing potential of the keyword.
However, one has to wonder if the added traffic from putting up the first iPhone 5 keyword ad will stoke consumer anger, since there is currently no iPhone 5 on sale there. To be sure, large e-commerce websites are notorious for launching sprawling ad campaigns that encompass large swathes of keyword phrases — even if they don’t carry the item you’re searching for.
There is always the outside chance that Amazon is aware of an impeding surprise iPhone 5 announcement and are simply laying the groundwork for their own online advertising campaign. But the greater likelihood is that they are simply trying to funnel in more referral traffic. One thing is for sure, however: when large corporations like AT&T and Amazon begin to target the “iPhone 5″ keyword, it proves nothing less that iPhone 5 buzz has reached a fever pitch . . .
. . . and we still might be anywhere from 3 to 6 months from the iPhone 5 actually being released.
What do you think? Does it irk you when an online retailer puts up a “bait and switch” ad that doesn’t deliver when you click on it? Let us know!
UPDATE — April 11, 2011
While no official word from Amazon has come over the phantom iPhone 5 ad, today it seems that the ad has changed from “iPhone 5″ to “iPhone 4.” While there is no way to know exactly who implemented this change, it would be safe to assume that the widespread coverage of the iPhone 5 Amazon ad (which broke here on the iPhone 5 News Blog first) precipitated the change in the ad’s content.
By Michael Nace