The Apple iPhone: Britain’s Youth Speak

apple iphone

I engaged 15 year old SMS Text News reader, Issah, to talk to young people around his area in London about the Apple iPhone.

Whilst it’s not representative of the UK as a whole, it’s a fascinating look into the minds of some of the next generation of mobile phone users. Issah asked each young person for a one-liner on the iPhone, jotted it down with their name and age — and here we are:

— It’s a great phone overall, but I think the video capabilities do not live up to the rest of the phone.
Mohammed Abdillahi, 14

— It’s rubbish it doesn’t live up to the hype. Definitely not worth my money, a dent in Apple’s reputation.
Wahidur Rahman, 15

— The phone looks nice and stylish, the features are revolutionary. A phone I would like to be seen with.
Dillan Campbell, 15

— I think it sounds like a great phone but it’s just too pricey for young people. Lower the price about a £100 and I’d buy it.
Nhung Vu, 13

— I would love to have it it sounds very convenient as it has loads of features squashed into one thing. And a big 8 GB memory to keep all my music.
Naomi Hedman, 14

— I don’t know what all the hype is about, I don’t know anything about it.
Josephine Wellham, 11

— I think the iPhone is to sensitive, making phone calls are a nightmare. Also, when the stylus is lost the phone is useless.
Aisha Moosa, 15

— I think the internet on it is amazing the first phone with proper net browsing!
Lloyd Anarfi, 10

— I think the phone is a breakthrough in technology but the fact it locks you into an O2 contract lets down the phone’s potential.
Claire Opel, 16

— I think it looks good and has been marketed well but I don’t like the price tag. The O2 contract is also very unattractive.
Sean O’Shea, 17

— I’ve heard of it, it sounds good but I don’t really know much about it.
Joana Yelibora, 19

— I think that the touch screen feature is cool but it’s just too expensive for me.
Joe Brant, 15

— I think it’s rubbish and too expensive. It’s just a phone.
Deborah Ndombe Mpengo, 16

— It’s like a flashier and more expensive version of the N95. It’s just a show off phone not a good long-term phone.
Joseph Maina, 15

— It’s a great phone and I think it will be for years to come. Number one on my Christmas list.
Osman Abdul-Moomin, 11

— It looks great I would like to have it. Futuristic.
Jamal Farah, 14

— It’s definitely one of the best phones out, but the camera ruins it.
Amin Chowdhury, 15

— It is not as good as everyone hyped it up to be. There are better, cheaper phones.
Fifelomo Oshun, 15

— Great if you have the money to get it but if not you might as well just buy a cheaper phone and an mp3 player.
Luca Mariano, 14

— I’ve heard the hype about it but I don’t see any real reason to buy this phone over a phone such as Nokia N95.
Jasmine Duong, 18

– – –

Issah, excellent work, thanks!

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8 Responses to The Apple iPhone: Britain’s Youth Speak

  1. John November 16, 2007 at 3:11 am #

    “I think the iPhone is to sensitive, making phone calls are a nightmare. Also, when the stylus is lost the phone is useless.” Eh?

    Ok so thos of us in he UK might have noticed the lack of advertising for the iPhone. I bought one in the US and got it shipped over as to avoid the dreaded 1.1.2 firmware. I have to say, I love it, ive had quite a few phones in the past ranging from QWERTY keyboards to MOTO RAZRs (awful btw), but the iPhone (so far) is the best I have ever had!

    Using it out and about in the UK its really surprising to me how many people have never heard of it! They dont know it by name and they dont know what it looks like. I blame this mostly on the marketing.
    The Carphone Warehouse have never put it in their catalogues, I assumed this was becuse they were expecting it to sell on its own. Same with O2, just a few posters the week before, again I assume they thought it would sell its self.

    As a result, in my opinion, I think the iPhone has flopped in the UK. Partly due to bad maketing but also because people dont get it. £270 with no 3G or video recording. Consumers in the UK have become used to free phones that do everything. So paying for a phone AND getting a contract is a very alien thing. So better marketing and lower prices or the iPhone could be dead in the water by 2008.

  2. Brett November 16, 2007 at 6:22 am #

    It’s obvious than many of these opinions are of those who’ve not yet handled an iPhone themselves. It would be interesting to re-interview the same group after giving them a go at an iPhone.

  3. Simon November 16, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    “Ok so thos of us in he UK might have noticed the lack of advertising for the iPhone.”

    Really? I lost count of the amount I saw on TV.

    I reckon it’s down to how people perceive gadgets – they’ll pay a lot for their iPod, but expect their phone to come free on a contract. It’s as if people see the iPhone as a phone primarily, but with an MP3 player added on.

  4. GaZZ November 16, 2007 at 12:26 pm #

    People in the UK have been used to getting free upgrades and have been able to shop around for contracts with amazing amounts of minutes and texts for a couple of years now. O2 and Apple needed to push this phone for christmas, they failed ! Most people who I spoke to when the iphone was launched just wanted to know how much the N95 is now, and didn’t really know what Iphone was.

  5. psionandy November 16, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    If its a ‘Christmas’ Push they are going for then they’ll have a problem.

    Ipods will sell at Christmas, PAYG phones will be given, even PDAs/Laptops. However iPhones come with contracts, and relatively few people will give someone an 18 month credit agreement as a present

  6. Mike November 16, 2007 at 4:29 pm #

    I’d think that the iPhone has a much higher standing in the public view than the N95 does. I haven’t heard John Humphreys on R4 fondling an N95 (or any other mobile, for that matter). It already is an icon of design, partly because it obeys some fundamental design rules (as do most Apple products) but also because it redefines what you can do on a phone. If the N95 had the multi-touch UI and tight YouTube integration we’d be saying ‘iWhat?’. But it didn’t, Nokia missed a trick, and will catch up because they need to catch up.

    I’m considering buying one and burying it for 20 years. Imagine what a BNIB 1st-release Apple, Sinclair ZX or Atari would fetch now. (except GSM/EDGE may not be there in 20 years. WiFi maybe….er, probably not.)

    I reckon the iPhone will be looked back on as the device that (re)set the mobile benchmark, a new paradigm, etc etc. It didn’t bring internet to the mobile, it made the internet mobile. And there’s a world of difference. Some video format issues aside, almost all web pages just appear the way they should, with no need for reformatting. Not what mobile opimisation designers/coders want to hear, but hey.

    The previous efforts got a C- from the masses, and even the beloved Opera Mini only resonated with the geekerati. But the iPhone…put it in anyone’s hands and see them have a good time. Not because they want to test it, form an opinion of it, compare it to other mobiles,etc…but because the OS and UI GTF out of the way and let you enjoy the content. Fun because the OS is not a barrier, instead of mediocrity because the OS is the barrier.

    Oh, and good point above Simon. If it was a £269 iThing without the phoney bits I bet it would sell like the proverbial.

    Oh, hang on…;-)

  7. mark November 16, 2007 at 6:13 pm #

    its very slow on some things as well – maybe nokia etc should just make one phone instead of all these differnt versions then what would happen?

  8. Samuel Cotterall November 16, 2007 at 7:20 pm #

    That’s a really interesting insight – I’m a twenty-one year old Mac user and even I am struggling to justify the phone to myself.

    Currently, you can get the ‘technically superior’ Nokia N95 for half the price with a £35/m contract, but I think it’s the combination of it being an Apple product and the unlimited data that’s driving me towards the iPhone.

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