Do you think that the iPhone is tailored for an older crowd?

Published: January 12, 2013

I recently read an article about how Android is tailored more for the younger generation and the iPhone is for older people. Android has more features, more customization, and a wider variety of devices to choose from. Then you have the iPhone – a flagship brand that has (aside from simple upgrades to the hardware and software) essentially remained unchanged since its release. Does the iPhone really cater to the older generation, or is the uprising of Android just making it seem that way?

Clearly not all people are going to agree that either device is catered to a certain age demographic. I for one do not think the iPhone is made solely for an older generation so much as it needs a makeover. Many of my peers carry an iPhone, not to mention I myself have one. Now, whether we all carry it because we prefer the interface to an Android or because it’s still seen as the “cool” thing to carry (my classmates and I are only almost 4 years out of high school) is up for debate. I will say that when it comes to an older crowd an iPhone is easier to coax in to rather than Android, and I think this is for two reasons.

For one, the idea of an iPhone to an older person probably sounds more appealing than an Android device. It goes back to my article I wrote yesterday regarding why everything gets compared to an Apple product – it’s still a hugely popular company that can sail off of their brand name alone. The majority of people who are unfamiliar with smartphones and how they work probably aren’t going to hear about Androids more than they’re going to hear about iPhones. So when you’re talking to them about whether they’d prefer an iPhone or an Android, you might as well be asking them if they’d rather have an iPhone or an off-brand product because that’s how it’s going to sound to them until explained otherwise. Regardless, they’re probably still going to want an iPhone because it’s the brand they’ve heard the most about.

The second reasoning leads into what it’s like to explain an Android product to somebody who isn’t interested. A lot of older generations don’t necessarily want to use a smartphone, but feel pressured to because that’s just the way technology is moving. The flip and messaging device market is quickly shrinking and essentially there is pressure building to purchase at least something a little more advanced. So while Android might have more exciting features and more things to do, the people who only want a smartphone because “their son and/or grandson recommended that I get one” aren’t going to have the patience to learn about just how many features Android can offer. Truth be told, they’re probably not going to like the iPhone at first either, but to me it is easier to learn than Android is.  

I won't say that an iPhone is only tailored for older people. Many young people (myself included) appreciate the simplicity of the interface, and even the small size of the device is what draws people in. Likewise, Android is not solely tailored for young people. I know plenty of older people who would rather work with an Android than an iPhone. My own mother (who is not old, for she just turned 29 for the 18th time last summer – love you mom, can’t wait for this year’s 29th birthday) preferred her Android device to the iPhone she carries now, even though she uses more features on her iPhone than her Android.

While I agree that Android is trying to cater its phones to a younger generation (like Samsung’s commercial where a young man is in line for an iPhone release, only to find out he’s holding the place for his parents) and using the marketing tactic that "if old people use it, it's not cool", iPhones are still seen all over the map. I think it’s going to take a little more time for iPhones to be seen as primarily “old people” phones.


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