Over the last few years a clear market push from Apple targeting teenagers and kids in general has been in play.
From iMessage stickers, Animoji, Memoji and the basic kid friendly home screen to running TV ads focusing on just these features during prime time viewing. Apple seems to have decided that those who bought Apple products for the last 10 years maybe aren’t important anymore, the creatives that bought MacBook pros aren’t important anymore and parents should just buy their kids Apple products or they’ll get bullied and left out.
The focus to create a superior class of user has always been part of the iPhone marketing but it would create such a gulf in teenagers and them not wanting to be left out that now 80% of U.S teens have an iPhone.
That’s a shocking statistic when compared to other countries like the UK where it’s pretty even with Android devices.
It started with the blue or green bubble of iMessage, when you send a message to a fellow iPhone user you’ll get a blue bubble but every other non Apple device is green. During the presentation of this feature Apple even mocked the fact someone sending you a green text is using Android, it soon became a big deal in the U.S which doesn’t use much third party apps for messaging compared to the rest of the World.
Social media is filled with people complaining about the “poor” who dare send green texts to their iPhone, Celebrities have even got in on the act tweeting about how annoying it is.
They then added sticker packs to spend even more money on something that can only be used within the iMessage app. With no cross app platform use, these are completely useless outside of iMessage.
The next surprise from Apple was when they moved focus to Animoji as one of the main selling points of the iPhone X last year, the device costs $999/£999 and offered not much else for the price increase.
Animoji is without a doubt one the most useless features I’ve ever used on a device and in no way directed at anyone over the age of 16, so what is the point? to attract teens and kids to the more expensive device and have them beg their parents to pay out even more?
Last month Apple held WWDC 2018 and revealed iOS 12 in all it’s glory or lack of, it was lacklustre with a few useful features taken from Android. They spent a good portion of time showcasing Memoji! the next step to more cringe inducing features and wasted even more time showing tongues from a dinosaur and ghost.
This kind of attitude is a huge let down for people who have used their products for years and continue to invest in the Apple ecosystem, the lack of decent spec MacBook or iMac at a reasonable price is disappointing because it’s the users who are losing out and the continued use of a stale iOS home screen that wouldn’t look out of place on a fisher price toy phone that shows they want it kept simple for kids.
Apple also announced digital wellbeing features which allowed you to set limits on what apps you use and for how long per day to help clear your mind, to me it just looks like parental controls so your kids don’t spend all day on it.
The new iPad which starts at $299 for schools is another attempt, it fails because kids will break these devices and they’re too expensive to repair or replace all the time. Chromebooks seem to be the popular devices for schools at excellent value, Microsoft and Google have completely taken over the desktop/laptop market from Apple with Surface laptops and Chromebooks at different price points.
It’s a market Apple don’t seem to care about anymore or maybe just don’t value it as much as stickers or talking pigs.
But look, Apple don’t owe me or you anything. They’re a business and they want to make money but what I find concerning is their attempts to convince children and teenagers that not owning an iPhone means you’re poor or uncool is worrying, it puts parents in an awkward situation and creates big problems. This isn’t about the latest sneakers or t-shirt, it’s a $1000+ item and it shouldn’t be in the same league.
This isn’t an attack on Apple or it’s users, I’ve used an iPhone for 10 years now including the iPhone X and always bought a new model without question because I trusted I was getting a premium product for my money. However, lately after being locked into this mindset for years I’m open to change and trying other devices and services to give myself more freedom.
I hope parents take time to check out other products and see what really suits what their child needs and not what they’re convinced is the best by media or celebrities. You might find the iPhone still suits you and that’s fine because I’m not saying it’s a terrible device, they’re solid and well built but I just don’t think adults are their target anymore.
But then again maybe it’s just me and don’t get the appeal of sending talking turds to people.