Is the iPhone still cool? Maybe not
One of my clients is a marketing professor, and we were talking the latest iPhone buzz. She said Apple is in danger of becoming uncool because it is so mainstream.
"it is the safe device that even a 52-year-old can easily use. My generation has gravitated to it because it's easy to use. So if 50 year olds use it, how can it still be cool/hip?
Teenagers are going to stop wanting the things that their parents, aunts uncles and grandparents use."
- 09-17-2012, 01:05 PM #2
- 09-17-2012, 01:06 PM #3
- 09-17-2012, 01:13 PM #4
I can see where your client is coming from and think it is reasonable. However, I look at Apple as one of those companies that is capable of breaking down that barrier.
Apply that logic to cars: A 16 year old wouldn't love to have a Ferrari or Porsche because 40 - 60 year olds drive them.
That's a ridiculous notion right? Right. Why? Because those are top-notch vehicles and there aren't many brands out there that outdo them. The same goes for Apple. Think of a brand that is really taking it to Apple right now? There aren't any. That's not to say there can't be.
I think from a perception standpoint, Apple is the Ferrari/Porsche of Tech. They are such a luxurious/high quality product, no one cares who uses their products.
This is my opinion but I think it's fairly accurate.
- 09-17-2012, 01:28 PM #5
I think the problem is that your client is actually looking at the iPhone as an island on it's own. The thing is that teens will want what every other teen has and that is what makes it cool. It is not that it's a cool thing let me get it it's that everyone that is cool has one so I want one too. So you see Apple unlike other smartphones introduces them to the device and OS at an earlier age with the iPod. So once they get older they gravitate towards the iPhone because they don't need to learn anything new they already know how everything works. It's also the pull of the apps, they will show off their apps with one another and the more apps there are and the easier they are to find creates a pull to the device providing it.
So while I do understand what your client was trying to say and it does make sense in certain cases. However in this case I don't think so. My wife's preteen sister has about 8 friends all who have iPhone 4s. She has an iPod Touch and they are all PRE-teen, although I know that is probably not the majority trend but I think it is an indicator of how much the device is wanted.
- 09-17-2012, 01:30 PM #6
Your client assumes that the iPhone cannot satisfy and be successful in multiple markets...that's like saying now that Porsche offers lower end cars like the Boxster so that a lower income class of person can enjoy the car, the higher income people who once enjoyed driving their Porsche are no longer going to do so. The word asinine comes to mind...
- 09-17-2012, 01:34 PM #7
Who cares whats "hip". I use what works for me. I couldn't care less what is hip or popular. The iPhone and even more importantly, the Apple ecosystem as a whole is what works for me.
What my parents or kids use is meaningless to me.
- 09-17-2012, 01:55 PM #8
- 09-17-2012, 02:41 PM #9
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- 09-17-2012, 04:00 PM #15
Last edited by JustMe'D; 09-17-2012 at 05:34 PM.
- 09-17-2012, 04:01 PM #16
Just a silly statement. People want what works. The iPhone is still very much a premier device that many many kids/teenagers/young people aspire to own. It is as much a status symbol these days as it is a functional device. Parents, grandparents, etc who own an iPhone is a secondary thing, and has no bearing on whether the "coolness" of the phone disappears.
- 09-17-2012, 04:03 PM #17
- 09-17-2012, 05:19 PM #18iMore Intermediate
- 168 Posts
There is also an app element at play here.
Yes my not that tech savvie folks have iPhones but get far from the most out of them by not really embracing the app culture fully.
Younger hipper peeps will presumably have the better newer flashier apps and can even take pleasure in being the "expert" and recommending or introducing the latest and greatest apps to family and friends.
Just a thought and would be interesting to see what your friend thinks of this theory
All the best
Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk
- 09-17-2012, 05:24 PM #19
- 09-17-2012, 05:33 PM #20
Wow a marketing professor should know Mainstream = Big money. Making it available to everyone = Big Money. iPhone always be cool as long as Android phone are being made.
I'm 50 and my nieces and nephews wanted iPhone because I had the cool **** with not the other way around.
- 09-17-2012, 06:01 PM #21
- 09-17-2012, 10:21 PM #22iPhone Intermediate
- 267 Posts
By the way, not all teachers are necessarily brilliant... The argument made here isn't very strong from the start. Your client should go and present it to the company that sold hundreds of millions of iOS devices in a matter of months. You're in North America. There's much more "older" people than "younger" people as it is. Apple sells precisely because it adresses all. Cool has to do with it only in some limited circles - mainly teenagers - and even there, you've yet to define "cool". When daddy buys iPhones for the whole family, he's cool, even though mom and he obviously got one in the process. And if the newest stupid blonde pop singer has got one, well you can be pretty sure the iPhone will remain cool even though the "uncoolest" old fart in the world has got one too.
Movies exhibit iPhones. Celebrities use iPhones. Important businesses value iPhones. Cool cars come equiped with "Made for iPod/Phone" media center and else. The best A/V brands out there are paying royalties for Airplay or "Made..." docks, and they all say they've got the best way to preserve the integrity of your music. Saying that a shift in "coolness perception" - in this case, young people towards older people exhibiting the same device - could unravel such a market is audacious. Pretty sure your client has to think through it all over again. I guess one day Apple will lose some of that "cool" factor we have to admit it has now. But that won't be the end of Apple - it's just that things will have to settle at one point, iOS devices will become, if you may, just another thing. Craziness will find another sweetspot, dust will settle, things will appear as they are, and Apple will still be there, as definite and undisputable as - say - Microsoft. It's not like it's all smoke and keynotes, you know, there's proven, reliable, innovative hardware that has gotten itself in about every corner of the world to consider here.
- 09-18-2012, 02:06 AM #23
Just saw your post over on WP Central, The iPhone is no longer cool. I didn't want to troll over there, like you're doing here, but it just cracks me up! So, cool is Microsoft, and Windows, and Nokia? ROTFLMAO! And speaking of old folks, wasn't the Metro interface made for seniors? I don't know if Apple or iPhone are "cool", but I don't see any hipsters here in San Francisco using WP. Just sayin'!
- 09-18-2012, 02:08 AM #24
- 09-18-2012, 07:49 AM #25
That assessment is certainly contrary to what I see with my daughter and all of her friends. They all either have the iPhone or want it. I gave her the option of any phone she wanted for her birthday and it was no contest, she didn't even want to look at other phones and she has experience with both android and windows phone thru my work. Her feedback was that the iPhone just works and she also hates the monster screen sizes of most android phones as do most of her friends. They see the large screens as a requirement for older people so they can read the screen without their glasses!