Judging from last week’s online chatter over whether people hate the iPhone 5 or love Samsung’s Galaxy S4, you’d have thought the tech press had returned to high school, where the halls are filled with BFFs and everyone dots their ‘i’ with hearts.

However, there is some actual news coming from that torrent of tweets and Facebook posts.

Apple, long admired for its tight control of information, is great at talking up its brand, but does little to guide the conversation once a product is launched. Hence, the iPhone 5 ‘most hated’ drivel…

We Are Social sparked the whole ‘most hated’ talk by giving The Daily Mail a sneak peak into its research on how smartphone brands handle conversations about their products.

The British newspaper ran a story under this headline: “Apple’s iPhone 5 is the most hated handset — while the majority of people love the Samsung Galaxy S4, study finds.”

Shortly after, it went viral.

We Are Social – which helps brands such as Intel and eBay navigate social media – found an overwhelming amount of talk about the iPhone 5’s launch, but Apple’s rivals were better at steering the conversation to the features of their products.

Researcher Edward Kitchingham wrote this at the company’s blog:

Apple has established itself as being more innovative than its rivals and some fans felt that the iPhone 5 didn’t deliver on this reputation. And Apple did little to answer these questions.

Despite the iPhone 5 launch attracting a huge amount of talk (see the pie chart top of post)  – 1.7 million mentions – on social media, Apple did little to push positive messages about the handset.

As a result, there was little talk of the smartphone’s features and a high level of criticism.


By contrast, the launch of the Galaxy S4 produced just 140,000 mentions, yet the majority of the chatter was steered toward features. BlackBerry generated 300,000 mentions when its Z10 launched and Nokia’s Lumia 920 produced 45,000, per data.

So basically the survey found that launch day conversations about the iPhone 5 outnumbered those about the Galaxy S4 by more than 12 to 1, while comments with a “negative connotation” about the iPhone 5 outnumbered the S4 by less than 2 to 1.

Samsung produced a low level of criticism on social media by pre-loading potentially positive topics for conversation come launch day.

For instance, invitations to the launch announcement were sent out through social media, there were sneak peaks into the upcoming Galaxy model, capped by ‘mark your calendar’ and other excitement building tactics.

We Are Social (iPhone 5 most hated, Fortune 001)
Chart via Fortune.

In the end, while Apple mops the floor with competitors when it comes to slick television ad campaigns, an army of online fanboys and a generally positive tech press, it remains mum on rumors and does little to satisfy the desire of fans looking for details about upcoming products.

Here’s how We Are Social’s Ed Kitchingman explained the challenge for Apple to Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt:

Apple’s iPhones are still the conversational benchmark for all competitors to aspire towards, but it’s lack of proactivity and staid marketing tactics leave the social space open for other brands to take advantage.

It isn’t too late for Apple to update its marketing playbook.

Perhaps provide the company’s many evangelists with a list of talking points so that both fans and consumers have something good to say about Apple before the party is over.

After all, television networks are about to build enthusiastic fan bases over fare that’s ho-hum at best. Apple has much better products with features that shouldn’t be hidden under a bushel – or a ‘no comment.’

  • jocastro


    • Dani Hayes

      Well put. How would you like to write for The New Yorker??

  • But when a NEW iPhone comes out (a non-S version)
    its gives us some new WORKING & great things.
    Brands like Samsung just puts new stuff on the device / OS that aren’t working very well or they give us ‘useless’ things. When Apple announces something it will be good for sure 😀

    • Andy

      Apple: It works
      Android: Does it work?

    • whywhywhy

      What ‘new’ and ‘great’ things did the iPhone 5 offer? A slightly larger screen and faster processor?

      • No, it offered a “revolutionary” reversible lightning connector….

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Now quickly build a botnet and repeatedly tweet something like the above and the results of this research would be massively different…

  • 1337lolzorz

    What did I just read

  • Timothy

    The amount of anti-iPhone bias exhibited by a lot of the news agencies and blogs out there is almost laughable…

    • Pitchy

      Wow, and here I thought Apple was the media’s love child and that the iPhone was almost the second coming of Christ by the way a lot of the media covers it. Funny how personal perception works.

  • Gonçalo Gomes

    I got a new iPhone 5 yesterday but it came out of the box with iOS 6.1.4 already.. is there anyway I can downgrade it do 6.1.2?

    • Ishaan Malhotra

      Nope, just upgrade to ios 7 b3

  • felixtaf

    Most people create an account just to sh*t on Apple. Apple is not perfect, but too much attacks and opinions from people who have never used an Apple product before. (Same goes to iPhone users too, but majority is on the other side). After being proved so many times, still I have seen people complaining about lack of quadcore processor in iPhone!

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      But why does the iPhone need a quad core processor? In anything running Android I could understand otherwise the device would not be able to counter all of the bloat ware. iOS in contrast is lightweight and efficient only giving you what you need and nothing else!

      • felixtaf

        Because people know that quadcore is faster than dualcore and fail to realize that OS’s like iOS and Windows doesnt need a quadcore processor to run smoothly. While many android phones lag even with quadcore processors.

      • n0ahcruz3

        I wish my 4S had a quad core so that it can run deus ex smoothly.

      • mehrab

        Even tho that game is not on the play store even if it was the gs4 won’t be able to run it smoothly your iPhone 4S runs games at its highest settings other then androids so yeah your actually pretty lucky need for speed most wanted looks horrible on the gs4 compared to the 4s

      • Re

        I have yet to see a game on iOS you can change the graphical settings on. Therefore, you don’t know if they are running on max settings.

      • mehrab

        There are no settings cos it always runs on max compare side to side on flagship devices you”ll see iphine 5 having more effects on games such as nfs most wanted,modern combat 4 asphaulf 7 gta vice city has the most less lag and best looking visuals on ios devices and LOTS MORE games. Riptide, that game allowes those settings so that the 3gs can even play it.

      • Re

        You are definitely mistaken. Not every game on the iPhone runs on max settings. You really think the iPhone 3GS could play newly-released games that are really trying to push the boundaries in mobile games at max settings? Also, I know that the iPhone 5 doesn’t play Dead Trigger at max settings. I haven’t played MC4 or Asphalt 7, but chances are it’s not playing that at max settings either. To me, it doesn’t seem the GTA games are playing at max either. Maybe the textures are on high, but the draw distance doesn’t seem as far on the iPhone to me. Also, you show NO PROOF that these games are playing on high settings, you are just making this up.

      • mehrab

        Ummm i dont have a vid for iphones but i have one for search on youtube and you”ll see what im talking about “iPad 4 vs nexus 10 gaming performance oode” i saw lots of vids where graphics werent as good on android flagships compared to the iphone 4s to the gs3 and iphone 5 to note 2,gs4 htc one. See more vidoes like the one i gave you but like see the ones about iphones vs gs4″s and stuff. Okay now every single game runs on max by default play dead trigger on an iphone 4 vs a gs4 you”ll be shocked when you se how more effects the iphone 4 will show. Now about the 3gs i meant that it riptide allowed the settings for 3gS users so that they can play the game but on lower settings. Now why and how are iphones showjng more effects 2 reasons dedicated more powerful gpu. And application optimization. The app store makes apps for the iphone making it easier for app devs to make it perform perfectly while where as on android its being made for soo many types of hardware that they just dont care about optimising

      • Re

        ‘i saw lots of vids where graphics werent as good on android’

        Yeah, me too, but I didn’t base my experiences off of videos. I based them off of actually testing them myself. All of the apps by Rockstar Games (GTA: 3, GTA: VC, Max Payne) looked better on my Galaxy S4 with settings maxed when compared to my iPhone. ShadowGun and Dead Trigger also looked better on my buddy’s Nexus 4 compared to my iPhone. Also, when doing research to decide if I wanted a Galaxy S4, I watched quite a few videos comparing it to other phones (iPhone included), and the Galaxy S4 almost always came out on top. The Galaxy S4 is also one of the highest rated devices on 3DMark, although you won’t care because you ALWAYS claim benchmarks don’t matter (unless the iPhone wins).

        All-in-all, I don’t care what games they show off in those videos you showed me, because I literally do not play any of those games, except for GTA occasionally, and I also don’t care that it runs choppy on the Nexus 10, because I do not own that device. It runs smooth on my phone at max settings, and that’s all that matters to me, and that’s all that should matter to you as well, but you don’t care, you are on a never-ending desperate attempt to prove your device is better. Guess what, no one cares at all, and if you were really confident that the iPhone was a better phone, you wouldn’t be trying to prove this, so obviously you do feel your iPhone is inferior in some ways. As long as their device satisfies them, so be it.

        EDIT: I forgot to mention this in my reply, but I don’t know where I would add it. I don’t care if one device looks better at playing MOBILE GAMES on the other, because if I want games that look remarkably better that any iOS/Android games, I can play on a console (a device literally made for gaming).

      • mehrab

        The definition of smooth defers when asked to an android user to an ios user. Bro listen stop lieing :/ a game like nova 3 looks horrible on my nexus 4 compared to an iphone 4s. Dead trigger is best on ios devices i tested it snot about the screen lol its about the effects there are more effects on ios games usually and gameplay is smoother and FASTER THATS RIGHT TAKE AN IPGKNE 5 and a gs4 THE IPHON 5 PLAYS EVERY GAME FASTER AND SMOOTHER SOURCE YOUTUBE AND MYSELF MAX SETTINGS ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON A PS3 EITHER WONDER WHY? Android is all about tweaking those settings are there bcos androids have lower gpus and poor optimisation so like if i buy modern combat 4 on a gs3 it will be like shit on max settings so i can lower it to aviod frame drops. Oh and the gs4 is horrible on google chrome just a reminder. What videos did you watch lol? You just got caugh red handed hahah

      • ClaudieX X

        Android even with octo core processors doesn’t work smoothly!!!

      • Re

        You realize more cores doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better, right?

      • ɑղժɾҽա

        GS4 lags even with Exynos 5 Octa.

      • Kash Gummaraju

        that’s due to touchwiz not the phone itself, run a high end smartphone game on a gs4 running stock wih exynos 5 octa you won’t suffer from any lag.

      • I rather have a quad core processor in my iPod because i want it to be more future proof. I would want it to run iOS 10 and not have it lag!

    • Pitchy

      Because no one ever would create an account to shit on Android now would they? The same applies to all of the Apple fanboys who have never seriously used an android device.

      • felixtaf

        Did u read the whole comment? This is what I said too!

      • Pitchy

        It’s pretty much equal on both sides. I have an Android tablet and I see a lot of people on Android forums talking about how iPhone / iPad is far superior and that Android is crap.

        I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to enjoy both platforms.

  • Tommy Gumbs

    And the point of this article is to prove what about a phone that is almost a year old?

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Here’s a tip. Forget social networking and actually talk to people. Maybe then you’ll have some decent research material…

  • n0ahcruz3

    To be honest nothing is compeling about the iphone 5. Aside from design & 4″ screen theres nothing great about it and not that different to 4S.

  • Evgeny Boutvilovski

    What an irrelevant statement gathered from that data. They purposely avoid the most blatant logic gap: 1.7 million conversations vs. 300 000. Using percentages skews the context completely

  • Tom

    iPhone 5 beats galaxy s4 octa anytime android is a cheap os