Detractors tend to attribute Apples success to "hype," yet there are numerous products that have been heavily promoted and yet failed to sell. Consider Microsoft's "Surface" tablet/netbooks. Remember the ads with music and the acrobatic demonstrations of its clever (and brightly colored) keyboard covers. Brilliant ad, on a par with Apple's best. Yet the Surface tanked (Round two now coming up).
So what is it about Apple? At this point, it's not so much about the hype as about the brand. Most people who use Apple's products appreciate the attention that Apple gives to designing the user experience. It's subtle things like how fast Apple's phones and tablets respond to touch. Apple has built a reputation of only making premium products--no cheap, shoddily built stuff just to build market share. Other companies tend to have some good models and some not-so-good models. You buy Apple, and you know that you are getting a quality product that has been carefully tuned to optimize the user experience. You can trust Apple not to push specs at the expense of battery life, for example. So a lot of people probably ordered a new iPhone just because their old phone was two years old and out of contract, and based upon their previous experience with the company, and they trusted Apple to have something good. And judging from the early reviews, it appears that Apple has delivered once again.