iPhone or iPhoney?

By Norashikin Azizan

What can you do with RM7,049? While many people will use it for savings, paying rent or tuition fees, and for some others, it might be the fund to pay this month’s car instalment, but millennials might opt for a trip to Machines and grab the latest iPhone since the figure matches the cost of the latest iPhone model now.

Has Steve Jobs succeeded? I bet he had for a long time now. Amazing phenomena can be witnessed every time Apple Inc. releases new models of iPhone as long queues and happy face go along with it. It is worth noting that these happy faces are mainly millennials. So, why are millennial crazy about iPhone?

Recently, a 24-year-old man faced the music over his bold move of selling his kidney seven years ago and who now suffers a very severe infection on his wound from the unsanitary surgery. All this hassle for a piece of iPhone for just so that he could fit in with his friends.

Peer Pressure
Taking a lesson from the man’s story, it is clear Apple’s iPhone has always been highly desirable among teens even seven years ago and the situation has not changed until now. Since it is considered a ‘must-have’ item, one will have the desire to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and it is to fit in with certain groups in school and university.

Other than that, some features of iPhone that vary with Android devices have created boundaries thus limiting the efficiency of communication. For example, a different colour is assigned to distinguish Apple or Android texts. iMessage has been known to use blue colour while Android has green text bubble.

Image 1: iPhone to iPhone text bubbles

Image 2: Android to iPhone text bubbles

This segregation has its effects as Android users deemed to be picked on by peers and are left out from joining iMessage groups, thus various attempts to create iMessage services in Android devices. Teenagers expressed their opinion online specifically on Twitter about those who are using Android devices. Some said they do not trust people when they have green text bubble, and some also said they will not date Android users. Tragic, right?

Image 3: Millennials’ opinion on Android green text bubbles

Image courtesy: The Message

Simply said, millennials are crazy about iPhones because they want to fit in and stay up-to-date with their peers.

Social status
For years, there has been class anxiety in the smartphone world, but it has been largely felt by Android users, whose devices have come to connote a lower socio-economic status than iPhones. It has been known that Android devices cost lower than ones from Apple Inc. Apple’s latest models: Xs & Xs Max, priced in the range RM4,999 until RM7,049 and XR costs RM3,599 up to RM4,299.

Therefore, one who uses the iPhone, or any Apple products is often deemed to be having a higher social class and displays a sophisticated image among members in society. It really is the same as having other branded and high-class products. If you have and use expensive items, then you are rich. Your amount of money does control what you buy and use. It is as simple as that.

Why do parents get their young adults iPhone?
This iPhone-Apple fever does affect parents who are generally baby boomers, worldwide. As to why they get their younglings iPhone is simply because they can afford it. It is a way to pamper their children and to satisfy their children’s needs. Since iPhones are the latest ‘it’, their children might have asked (or whine to) their parents to get them one each. Brand loyalty, at the same time could be one of the major contributors to this iPhone madness.

Parents have been using iPhones, so the tradition just continues for their kids. Another reason is to ease their daily matters as iPhones are built in with a specific application to ensure the owner’s security. It is easier to locate your children’s whereabouts with this application. According to Apple Support Page, this application is known as Find My Friends. These reasons might have fed into statistics that 82% of teenagers in America now use iPhones as stated by a recent report by Business Insider conducted by Piper Jaffray. Not surprising, I suppose!

Why is it such a valuable commodity?
Smartphones have now become a necessity – 18.4 million Malaysians own smartphones. It facilitates daily life activities effectively, makes a business go smoother and it brings convenience in a box. Clock, telephone, books, radio, camera and many other appliances have come into one. That is how smartphones have made our lives much easier to live. We are blessed to be in this kind of world where communication and information are literally at our fingertips.

However, regarding iPhone and Android devices, it really is a matter of preferences. This is because both devices promote different types of operating systems and functions. An individual who loves taking pictures but has less interest in editing and ready to spend a little bit more might opt for an iPhone since it has a high-quality camera built-in while a person who is big on storage space might want an Android.

It does depend on you and your needs. I personally opined that iPhone and Android are of the same level so we should not divide into sects just because we have different smartphones brand. What is the use of having smartphones if the owner is not smart enough to utilise the smartphones with care?

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