Why iPhones are Popular with Teens
Ever since the first iPhone was introduced back in 2007, it has become more than just a gadget; it’s evolved into a symbol of status. The reasons for this are as intricate as peeling an onion, layer by layer. From Apple’s slick marketing to the hefty price tag and its appeal to A-listers like movie stars and influencers – it all comes together to create something that seems a touch beyond the grasp of regular people.
iPhones are a hit, especially in the US, where they dominate nearly 61% of the smartphone market share. But what’s even more intriguing is their popularity among teenagers and young people. In fact, a recent study found that last year, a whopping 9 out of 10 teens owned an iPhone.
Just recently, a new study revealed that this trend is still going strong, and here’s the kicker – most teens believe that Android devices are for old folks and parents. To be honest, this feels a bit odd from my perspective. I mean, I’m not exactly ancient (or am I? The uncomfortable feeling of time creeping up when talking about teens), and I’m no parent. But I still believe that some Android phones give iPhones a run for their money.
The iPhone: Teenagers’ Darling
The first reason that popped up during my research is that the iPhone is essentially a status symbol. Teens view owning an iPhone as a ticket out of the “poor” club. In high school, iPhone owners tease Android users, labeling them as “broke” and “medieval.”
The Wall Street Journal‘s got the scoop on what most teens are thinking these days. Turns out that not only do they want the iPhone simply because of the brand, but they see Android phones as outdated.
Just take Abdoul Chamberlain, a 20-year-old content creator, for instance. He made a video back in April where he said, “You’re telling me in 2023, you still have a ‘Droid? You gotta be at least 50 years old.” Seems like Android is not winning the coolness contest with the younger crowd, which brings us to reason number two – peer pressure.
Fitting in with an iPhone
No one wants to be the butt of jokes or the target of teasing. So, the easiest way to dodge that bullet is by fitting in, and guess what helps? Yup, owning an iPhone. Teens can be a tough crowd, and while they might find other reasons to razz each other, at least smartphones won’t be on that list.
For instance, now teens make fun of Android users when they join a group chat in iMessage and their messages appear in green instead of blue (the blue color is reserved for iPhone users only).
Many parents on Quora will tell you they’re willing to break the bank to get their teens an iPhone, just to spare them from the teasing.
Teens: Money’s No Issue when it Comes to iPhones
And speaking of cost, that’s another reason why teens have hearts in their eyes for the iPhone. I mean, besides the whole status thing, teens often don’t have to fret about the price, right? Older people, or shall we say adults, often shy away from forking over $1K+ for a smartphone because, well, they have bills to pay.
A recent PhoneArena research showed that the average cost of buying a new phone in the US is $560. Only a third of people between 25 and 44 years old (or let’s say adults) were open to the idea of getting a $1000+ phone. Meanwhile, teenagers probably aren’t losing sleep over future budgets and bill-paying strategies; They’re all about living in the moment, and that moment often involves an iPhone.
iPhone Here, iPhone There, iPhone Everywhere
Now, let’s move on to the next reason, which is tied to social media and pop culture. Everywhere you look, from binge-worthy TV shows to YouTube videos and Instagram and TikTok posts by influencers, the iPhone is in your face. So, iPhone popularity among teens is sure to blame the trends set by popular culture. Well, maybe “blame” is too strong a word, but social media platforms, movies, and TV shows aren’t exactly innocent when it comes to influencing the younger crowd.
A recent study by Merchant Machine has revealed that the brand most frequently featured in movies and TV shows is, in fact, Apple. Apple products, such as the iPhone, have appeared in nearly one-third of the number-one movies at the US box office since 2001. Therefore, when you watch a movie or TV show, don’t be surprised to spot a character, often the heroic protagonist, using an iPhone, an Apple Watch, or AirPods.
iPhone and Other iDevices
Beyond trends and status, iPhones might also be the top choice because of their seamless integration with other Apple products. If you’ve already got a MacBook or an iPad, using an iPhone offers a smooth and well-integrated experience, which can be pretty handy during high school and college life.
A Jamf study from a few years ago found that 71% of higher education students preferred Apple products, with 49% citing synchronization with other devices as the reason. The research also found that despite 60% using PC laptops, 51% would choose a Mac if cost wasn’t a factor.
Truth be told, the reasons why iPhones are teenage treasures vary as much as teen personalities do. We all like to belong somewhere and follow the crowd – that’s just human nature. Trends come and go, and maybe the teen love affair with iPhones will be replaced by something else down the road. Android phones, perhaps? Or no phones at all? Who knows?