Is the youth really fed up with the iPhone?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: December 13, 2011

Today marks one of the most confusing days in news that I’ve been happy enough to experience. Why? Because it’s one of those times that a higher-up at one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers says something so bewildering, that it doesn’t really make any sense. Now, I completely understand being a fan of your own product, but that doesn’t mean you go out of your way to say something that’s completely ridiculous, and doesn’t make any sense.

So first, let’s get to the comment, shall we? If you didn’t hear about it initially, here’s the gist: Pocket-Lint managed to sit down with Nokia’s Director of Portfolio, Product Marketing & Sales Niels Munksgaard, to talk about the current state of things going on at Nokia. Through it all, here’s the most notable quote:

“What we see is that youth are pretty mud fed up with the iPhones. Everyone has the iPhone. Also, many are not happy with the complexity of Android and the lack of security. So we do increasingly see that the youth that wants to be on the cutting edge and try something new are turning to the Windows phone platform.”

Now, that’s remarkably confusing to me. I love the fact that Nokia’s higher-ups are confident in Windows Phone, because that means that Nokia will try to go out of their way to innovate for Microsoft’s mobile platform. But, really? Confidence is one thing, but showcasing the fact that you’ve put the blinders on isn’t necessarily the best plan. It’s one thing to say that last bit, about how “the youth” is turning to Windows Phone. That makes sense, because it’s a broad statement, even if it is predominantly positive thinking. But you’ve completely demolished the whole statement by the first two statements.

Fed up with the iPhone? Really? When did that happen? Because everyone I talk to who has an iPhone 4 is eagerly anticipating upgrading to the iPhone 4S – even as we get closer to the inexorable launch of the iPhone 5 (or whatever it’s going to be called). And, let’s not forget that millions of people (millions!) have purchased the iPhone 4S. That doesn’t happen when “the youth” are “fed up” with something. Unless there are millions of people, which doesn’t include a huge chunk of youthful folks out there, who are so fed up with the iPhone, but hate everything else, then I have got to say Munksgaard’s statements just don’t add up.

Oh, wait, maybe everyone does hate everything else. Or, maybe they’re afraid of how complex it is. No one likes a complex thing they have to use every day, and according to Munksgaard that’s exactly the case with the majority dealing with Android. Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that Android is a bit more complex than Apple’s iOS, or Microsoft’s Windows Phone. But, it’s not unusable. That’s ridiculous, and it would seem that that is exactly what Munksgaard is insinuating. Android is so hard to use that people want something so simple that they only have to glance at it. Really?

Insanity, folks. But Nokia isn’t the only one who thinks like this, are they? Back in September HTC Americas President Martin Fichter said something similar, suggesting that people don’t use iPhones anymore, and they focus more on Samsung or HTC devices. He said something along the lines of iPhones “not being cool anymore.” Again, that was just as crazy as this time around, but it doesn’t make it any less noteworthy.

It makes sense for these companies to want to stand out, to show that they don’t think the world is as dependent on a phone as some people might believe, but numbers speak volumes. Om Malik of GigaOm posted today that he saw more iPhones than Nokia-branded devices during his time in Helsinki, Finland recently. This stuff truly is strange, and it makes no sense as to why someone would actually want to say it aloud.