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Will Apple Honor Steve Jobs in Its Product Launch?

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by Jon Friedman
April 29, 2013 12:24 PM
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Apple could honor Steve Jobs and pull off a marketing coup

When you study Apple, keep October 5th in mind. It might be remembered as an epochal date, a marketing boost that a company lately afflicted by the blahs could use.

This ex-juggernaut has not excited anyone in recent months. The takeaway from Apple's (AAPL) most recent no-news-is-no-news earnings report is that something major is coming up. CEO Tim Cook won't divulge what it is but he promises that the next brand new Apple offering will be "amazing."

The great American parlor game is now in full swing. What will it be? Will it involve the auto industry? Maybe. Or the medical establishment? Possibly. Entertainment? Who knows. Basically, we are going to have to hold Cook at his word. But our patience with Apple may be running thin, after such rampant speculation that the company is planning something -- well,"amazing."

Another essential fact that Tim Cook is keeping under wraps -- quite sensibly -- is the timetable for the next bombshell declaration. 

I had a brainstorm: Why doesn't Apple make the big announcement on Oct. 5, 2013 -- marking the second anniversary of the passing of Steve Jobs, the visionary who lifted Apple to become the preeminent company in the country, the darling of Wall Street and a popular-culture icon to boot.

Cook could use some good publicity -- which Apple would surely get by simultaneously showing respect to Job's memory and legacy while making really big corporate news. 

Of course, the potential downside would be that skeptics could charge that Apple and Tim Cook are riding Jobs' coattails and exploiting his good name. But naysayers will always have something to criticize. If that is Apple's biggest worry, don't worry about it. The good press would greatly outweigh the carping. 

The media coverage around the world would be huge, giving the new product -- whatever the heck it turns out to be -- a supersonic push in the media and the marketplace. To top it off, Apple's rivals would be infuriated that Apple had again seized a public-relations advantage.

Who can say? Maybe I'm reading too much into Apple's plans and strategy. But as a journalist, I can smell a brilliant marketing opportunity-- and this would be a great one.

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