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This article was published on September 14, 2012

Twitter users on iPhone 5: Thin is more important than LTE, or anything else for that matter

Twitter users on iPhone 5: Thin is more important than LTE, or anything else for that matter

Thin is in. When Apple announced the iPhone 5 this week, the technology community predictably went haywire. One of the best ways to measure the level of craziness is of course Twitter.

That’s where Derek Ruths, an assistant professor at McGill University‘s School of Computer Science, comes in. Ruths runs a Network Dynamics Lab, and with the help of Raviv Cohen and Morgane Ciot, he analyzed over 30 million tweets generated the day the 6th generation iPhone was announced.

Here are his thoughts:

We were surprised by the sheer volume of tweets: the iPhone announcement garnered almost as many tweets as the 2012 Republican National Convention got in three days. On top of this, major Spanish-speaking countries (Brazil, Spain, and Mexico) stood out as having generated a significant portion of the total event-specific tweets, making the response to this truly international.

The results are all in the infographic below, but before your eyes glaze over, there are some things worth underlining. First off, the basics: men tweeted more than women, most of the reaction came from the US, and iOS users cared more than BlackBerry users, which cared more than Android users (not surprising, given these survey results). There were more tweets for the iPhone 5 event than for Mitt Romney’s RNC speech, but still less than US President Barack Obama’s RNC speech.

The most interesting part, in my opinion, is that Twitter users cared more about the new iPhone 5’s thinness. This received significantly more tweets (47 percent) than the fact it has LTE (21 percent), is lighter (17 percent), has a more powerful processor (9 percent), bigger screen (8 percent), or comes with EarPods (0.3 percent).

Apple called the iPhone 5 “the thinnest smartphone in the world.” This is of course not true. While it’s certainly the thinnest iPhone to date at 7.6mm, these smartphones are thinner, according to Strategy Analytics:

  • Pantech Vega S5 (6.89mm)
  • Fujitsu ARROWS ES IS12F (6.70mm)
  • Huawei Ascend P1 S (6.68mm)

When it comes to the Twitter mob, however, facts don’t always matter. Then again, maybe the inaccuracy is exactly what was being so viciously debated.

Here’s the full infographic:

I have contacted my fellow Canadians for more information about the data. I will update this post if they have anything interesting to add.

Image credit: stock.xchng

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