It’s one of the most buzzed-about brands in the world, but lately people have been talking about Apple for all the wrong reasons.
buzz — defined as whether the 30,000 or so daily poll respondents have heard either something positive or negative about the brand — rose to 64% this week, according to market research firm Morning Consult.
Apple’s negative “buzz,” as the firm calls it, hit its highest level ever on Jan. 1, when 24% of people said they had heard something negative about the company — the most since Morning Consult began tracking the brand in October 2016 (Morning Consult has polled more than 78,000 Americans on Apple since then).
The bad news for Apple: More people are talking about Apple these days than they were on Nov. 3, when the company released its iPhone X. Buzz was around 55% that day, rose to 62% four days later, but then began to taper off. Since news of the battery scandal broke, the company’s stock price tumbled after the news, falling to a one-month low on Dec. 29, but has since began to climb back up.
The company has been hit with a wave of criticism and lawsuits for purposefully slowing down iPhones with older batteries to avoid them shutting down from being overworked. Apple admitted to slowing down the phones, and apologized to customers in an open letter.
The company is also offering a discount on replacement batteries for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 models (from $79 to $29, from now until the end of December 2018). Apple’s admission gave new life to long-running conspiracy theories that the company slows down older phones on purpose, simply to push consumers to newer models.
Meanwhile, iPhone X’s have been selling, though analysts are unsure how well the company has been doing with its tenth-anniversary edition. One analyst at UBS said the demand seemed to be flat. The X (pronounced “10” rather than “X”) is the most expensive phone it has ever sold, starting at $999.
But, as the saying goes, perhaps all publicity is good publicity. Apple’s overall favorability is still strong, with around 68% of poll participants having a positive view of the brand (as per usual, according to Morning Consult), compared with the average consumer electronics industry average of 43%.
And it’s Morgan Stanley’s top tech stock pick for the new year, Morgan Stanley said in an investor note — particularly because the latest model iPhone is a hit in China.