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Article: How long from iPhone announcement to launch?
Ok so they have managed to manipulate the figures. You want a quick turnaround between announcement (official) and launch, so what do you do you start rumours about a new model, and then when the rumours die, you release a bit more information to your friends in the press, through one of your unamed employees, then you stimulate it by have a prototype stolen/lost etc in a bar, finally you get one of your board members with a high profile to mention it. The press has been speculating for ages it is difficult to believe there has not been an official anouncement yet.
By doing this they don't get all the negative response that RIM got for announcing the Playbook long before release. Very clever, the marketing department at Apple really are worth their weight in Gold