A Beautiful Mistake?

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The new iPhone 3G, the second generation of Apple's lifestyle, touch screen mobile phone has been out for some time now.
And it has been making news for various reasons worldwide. The reasons don't really matter, what matters is the fact that it has been making news. Just when we are about to think its a regular mobile phone, something or the other happens to remind us otherwise. "Its not just a mobile phone, it is an Apple product, with a cult following."

The latest in a series of intentional and unintentional promotional sprees is 'The Beautiful Mistake' by an employee of the Taiwan funded Chinese electronic firm Foxconn, which manufactures the iPhone for apple in China. The Chinese assembly line worker flashed an angel-like smile to her colleague testing an iPhone camera on the production line, never even dreaming in the wildest of her dreams that her action would trigger a global hunt for her.

The iPhone-girl frenzy began last week when her photographs appeared on, a popular forum of Apple product fans.

Mark M, 49, a British netizen who posted the photographs, said he found the mystery girl smiling at him from the screen when he unpacked his new 3G iPhone. He found two more of her photographs in the photo album.

The girl’s beautiful face has become a permanent fixture on the new iPhone because one of her colleagues apparently forgot to delete it from the memory of the master copy, China Daily reported.

The girl's employers, Foxconn, while describing the whole thing as a beautiful mistake, have assured that no penalizing action would be initiated against the erring employees.

My questions:

1. Why should they, if at all?
Apple got immense publicity, through a rather innovative channel for no obvious cost to anyone involved. The girl, though choosing to stay anonymous for now, could well be on her way to being a model in the near future, and let me put straight this time, there was no battery burst or rapid discharging reported from seeing a smiling girl, that a whole lot of cellphones should be recalled.

2. Was this just a beautiful goof-up and not a deliberate publicity ploy from the master innovator and marketeer Mr. Steve jobs himself?
Even if it was not, I like this secret and yet sophisticated methodology of getting into your customer's as well as your prospective buyer's good books. This one goes to my all time publicity Hall of Fame! [OK, agreed iNFINITY does not have one of its own yet... but I am planning to launch one very soon. Keep checking for the latest]

3. How many of the so called goofed up models have been actually produced?
If they are few in number, and considering the fact that the iPhone is still a niche market product than a mass seller, the batch, with the beautiful mistake on board, is going to be a part of folklore soon. And that means, five years down the line, you might hear one of these being auctioned as "the cellphone, the particular piece, that made news". So why not buy one today and make an investment of a lifetime.

4. Who said we Asians were there just for the cheap manufacturing part of it?
The complete package just arrived. Welcome to the new Asia. We make things to your order, and better still, market and publicize them in the most subtle of ways.

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Thus spoke the wor(l)dly wise