Today is a big day for Apple, as conversation and rumors swirl about their iPhone 5 launch event: whether it will be launched or not; if new CEO Tim Cooks can cut it as the company's main product pitchman; and if the ailing Steve Jobs will make an appearance. A scan on Google at the time of this writing shows nearly 3,000 articles on the iPhone 5.
And you can bet Apple is taking good advantage of these rumors. "Apple lives off of positive rumors," says Tom Rocycki, senior VP at Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications, "A rumor hits and their PR is basically set." Yet the company can also be rocked by negative rumors—in October 2008, a rumor that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a serious heart attack caused $9 billion in market value loss. But after today's event, some analysts are predicting that Apple's stock may go through the roof (be sure to catch PR News explores rumors and how to handle them in the 10/3/2011 issue).
And as usual, rumors abound about Jobs before today's event. Will he show, and how will he look if he does show? But just as important, all eyes will be on Cook, to see if he can conjure up some launch magic similar to Jobs' performances. That will surely prove to be a tall order.