Do People Hate the iPhone 5?

Do People Hate the iPhone 5?

Apple has fallen out of favor with investors ever since the iPhone 5 was launched in September. The day the device was launched was the exact day that Apple peaked, and shares have given up as much as 45% since then.

Perhaps that's not a coincidence, as a new report from social marketing agency We Are Social proclaims that the iPhone 5 was the most hated smartphone launched recently. In contrast, Samsung's rival Galaxy S4 was considered the most loved device. However, the methodology for the report is somewhat dubious: We Are Social measures sentiment on social-media networks such as Twitter and other forums.

Within this feedback, 20% of comments about the iPhone 5 are negative, while "just" 11% were negative for the Galaxy S4. The study covered four flagship device launches: Apple's iPhone 5, Samsung's Galaxy S4, BlackBerry's Z10, and Nokia's Lumia 920. The iPhone 5 also had the most conversations surrounding it.

Strangely, there's been a rising movement of investors looking toward social-media networks such as Twitter for new metrics to overanalyze. For instance, Investing Analytics is one of the start-ups trying to push the trend. The notion is to get a feel for investor or consumer sentiment, but the data is questionable. After the iPhone 5 launched, a curious number of people began tweeting discontent that the device was too light, which was one of the main selling points of the new device. Who would have thought that making a mobile device more mobile was the wrong strategy?

There had also been separate reports that Samsung hires students to anonymously bash rivals on social-media networks, although those pertained to HTC in that instance. It's not unreasonable to think that the South Korean conglomerate would do likewise against its biggest rival, which could skew the data in its favor.

Regardless of stance, I don't believe tweets are an actionable investing metric. All those negative tweets didn't seem to put a dent in iPhone 5 sales.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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