Apple goes on charm offensive with new iPhone launch

UPDATED: Twitter has verified Tim Cook's account. He garnered more than 33,000 followers in the span of an hour.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Unless you are truly disconnected from the world (in which case, how are you reading this?), then you know that Apple is in the midst of another iPhone launch day causing frenzies worldwide.

However, the international retail event is unusual compared to past iPhone and iPad launches for a few reasons.

The most obvious one is that Apple is rolling out two brand new iPhone models simultaneously, even if one of them doesn't exactly cater to the "low-end" smartphone market as previously expected (or at least, hoped).

But for a company notorious for being tight-lipped, not speaking to the press (at least as often as some other tech giants) and keeping the guest list extremely tight when it does host a media event, Apple is exhibiting some more humble PR approaches today.

For starters, CEO Tim Cook himself greeted eager beavers in line this morning at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, not far from the company's headquarters in Cupertino. Apple senior vice presidents Phil Schiller and Eddie Cue reportedly did the same at another location in the area.

It also looks like Cook is utilizing another venue to speak directly to even more of Apple's customer base: Twitter.

While not verified yet when this article was published, a Twitter account for Tim Cook emitted its first Tweet shortly after noon PT on Friday:

Naturally, there was an immediate firestorm of debate as to whether or not this account is valid. But said Tweet was soon after re-Tweeted by Schiller's verified account. Additionally, CNBC tweeted that it confirmed with Apple that Cook's account is the real deal.

Given Cook's highly-publicized and curated public appearances in China amid the Foxconn hubbub along with appearances and interviews at Wall Street investor conferences, perhaps none of these moves should be considered surprising.

Arguably, Cook has demonstrated a more hands-on, maybe even humble, approach in speaking to analysts, journalists and consumers than his predecessor, Steve Jobs. It almost feels like a breath of fresh air.

Certainly, the public appearances, the Twitter account -- these are all calculated PR moves part of a growing charm offensive on Cupertino's part to convince everyone it's not out of touch.

While Apple can still turn out the crowds and churn buzz like ever before, perhaps the tech giant has finally realized its fallibility in the face of Android's domestic and international market shares, recognizing it doesn't have the mobile market wrapped up like it might have before.

Image: James Martin, CNET

UPDATE: Twitter has since verified Cook's account. He garnered more than 33,000 followers in the span of an hour.

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