‘Wait!! There’s a new iPhone?’ Britain’s youth doesn’t care!

Samantha K is a regular SMS Text News reader. She’s an atypical reader — that is, she doesn’t work for a mobile operator, mobile marketing firm — in fact, she doesn’t work in any mobile related fields. In fact she doesn’t work at all. She’s 16 and a High School student here in the United Kingdom. She’s a Blyk user and she’s got some opinions on the mobile industry. The next time you’re sat in one of those shiny, polished presentations given by a Nike-wearing researcher or marketer, remember Samantha. It ain’t all good news. Almost everything I see or read about the youth of today and their mobile interests is absolute rubbish — and I really like being able to bring you direct, unfiltered opinion from one of the mobile industry’s most important current and future customers — the next generation.

So here we go. Here’s Samantha:

– – – – –

It would seem implausible to assume that the MP3 giant Apple is shoddy at advertising, wouldn’t it? Well, you would be wrong. In fact, even I was wrong in thinking that Apple had the best marketing mix; the iPod has had amazing results with the aid of some fantastically choreographed dance routines, so what has gone wrong?

Firstly I’ll share with you some results I got from a brief questionnaire I put together consisting of three questions; I asked ten people between the ages of thirteen and sixteen the same questions and here are the results.

The first question “Are you aware that the new iPhone is being released this week?” got the response that only one person was aware of this.

Here are two examples of the responses:

– “I had no idea there was going to be a new iphone”
– “Ermm… ii have no idea :D.”

Secondly, I asked, “How much would you be prepared to pay for a Pay You Go new iPhone?”

Now I got a range of answers for this question, the lowest response being £60, and the highest being £200. The most common result was £150 in which four people responded with.

Lastly I asked, “Do you like the iPhone?”

I asked this because I wanted to know if anyone knew about the upcoming version together with some opinion. Four out of ten people — 40% — like the phone, and the other six didn’t.

Here is a couple of the more in-depth responses I received:

– “Yh i like what it does but its maybe a bit to big.”
– “It’s quite nice but just a bit big.”
– “Not in the slightest.”

… And the best response, “I swear that’s the iTouch?”

Personally I hate the iPhone; I held a lot of respect for Apple, but since they have killed the MP3 market and deserted any idea of originality, and insist on controlling what their customers do with their over-priced products; my respect has since diminished. I also don’t like the layout of the phone, and I don’t like o2, the UK network selling the device here in the UK.

I have a rule that I pay no more than one hundred pounds for any phone, and for the iPhone 3G I would expect to pay something in the region of £80.

Imagine my horror then, when today walking down the high street I walked past the collection of phone shops (they like to huddle together) and I ask an o2 man (who was having a cigarette outside) when I could expect to see the iPhone pay as you go, and how much I would have to pay for it.

“Erm… Maybe around Christmas y’know?”

And the cost?

“Err £350 probably, maybe more”.

Am I going mad? Didn’t Steve Jobs promise it would be $100? I would have expected it sooner too?

So here is the problem with the iPhone: It’s rubbish.

It has a two-mega pixel camera — far from special and in a ridiculous place on the device. It has a touch screen — which infuriates me, it’s an Apple, it’s overpriced, and limited to a horrible network with momentous prices.

No one I know of even owns the “old” iPhone. I haven’t seen a single one in my School, and yet we have around one thousand four hundred students; Not a single one.

I put it to you that the excitement and the hype around the iPhone really isn’t as some here on SMS Text News (and beyond) like to imagine; Okay there are plenty of articles online and on this very site about it, but where is it in the general media? Where is the discussion between young people, who like myself, have plenty of disposable income during the summer? I have yet to see an advert on TV (and I’m watching a lot of television), or any grand opening events that we witnessed last year?

I sense that this time around, Apple doesn’t feel bothered, and in particular, they’re not even bothering to gain the body of the mobile market, the teenagers, and the young people.

In a sense, I’m relieved that Apple, and the iPhone isn’t really chiming with consumers; this means that other brands, whether we love them or hate them, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony just to name a few, still have a market to implement new ideas and gadgetry into. The MP3 market is dead as far as I’m concerned, and I have been hunting for a new one which is not an Apple since the beginning of the year, yet nothing is available for me. Imagine the Mobile market like this? Imagine having no choice other than the iPhone? It’s horrible to even contemplate, and for this reason I want Apple to fail, it’s just I’m surprised that, based on things over the past few weeks, they appear to want to do the same too.

Briefly, thanks to everyone I annoyed with those questions, if anyone would like to see a fuller collection of quotes I gathered, don’t hesitate to contact me.

– – – – –

And here am I telling everyone and their dog that there should be a good response to the new iPhone — and that the youth market is going to gobble it up.

Fascinating perspective Samantha. Thank you!

As Samantha said, if you’ve got a response or a question, just post it here and she’ll do her best to respond.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

49 replies on “‘Wait!! There’s a new iPhone?’ Britain’s youth doesn’t care!”

Well said Ben Smith!

As for “MP3 giant Apple”… their biggest business is computers not music, developing the hardware and software of the fastest growing computer platform in the world today. It’s not Windows!

Samantha is likely one of those people that has known nothing but Windows and hates change, and believe the best source for music is illegal file sharing networks.

Actually, you will all find that Sam’s views are fairly standard of that demographic.

I have met dozens and dozens of people with exactly the same view. Its not shocking at all.

…and that is coming from an absolute Apple fanboy like me!

Go for it Sam – good on ya for saying it as you see.

Based on my own straw poll of younger relatives – when a 16 year old says Apple killed the mp3 market, what they actually mean is that they cant believe someone is charging for music and getting away with it.

Also, I doubt 16 year olds are the target market any more than they were with the ipod. Apple has never served this market – people seem to forget this but Apple is a niche company and has NEVER served the mass market.

Now this kind of information is real gold.!

Thank you Samantha for your thoughts and i hope that we get see more of your grass roots analysis of the mobile industry!

I don't trust the internet with credit card details. I'm fine with everything else, but it just makes me feel insecure knowing someone could hack into my account.


You're going to laugh at this… But I haven't yet used my card.
I only got a bank account in May sometime, and I haven't had a proper reason to use it as of yet. Plus, I'm weary of turning into an unconscious shopper. I still have most of my money in cash form; which is around one hundred and fifty pounds, if not more?

I need to put it in my account, but I haven't got around to doing it yet.


Pay for a phone? I must be missing something, don’t you just steal/mug someone to get the latest phone, just like you steal 26GBs of music.

well here's another perspective if you like.
I work in a number of schools each week in London and Hertfordshire either speaking or running workshops. One of the first things I do is tell students to take out their mobiles and switch them off (they usually shouldnt have them) but it is a way of creating trust. As of late I have seen blackberry pearls, n95's, lg slides and this is from grammar schools to tougher inner city academy's.

I have an E61(business) and iPhone (personal) and so far this year I have seen six students with iphones. Apparently most dont have one not because of the screen but because they dont want to be mugged! Nearly all the students with mp3 players have some variation of apple with a few using Sony phones as their players (I hate music on mobiles)

Samantha does pose and interesting response though and I think I may do a little survey myself the next time I go into schools about student preferences. Well written by the way Samantha.

Thanks for the response. I haven't seen any Blackberry's (then again, my school is the Blackberry type, if you get what I mean), although there are a lot of Sony's (especially with the girls, the W580i) due to the MP3 playback.

One of the comments, which I didn't include in the article that I got from my mini survey was about being mugged (and this was from a sixteen year old male), so it does suggest that there is a lot of worry about crime with phones.



No, I use MP3's where I can, or create my own. Say I want a short snippet of something for my Text Alert, I'll use Audacity to crop exactly what I want, save it at CD quality, and transfer it myself.

I once bought some credits on Habbo Hotel, but that was when I was about ten or something.

As for anything else, I don't buy what I can get free.


I am rather surprised that you can base a whole article on the opinions on 10 of your friends! For a decent result I would expect no less that 100 peoples opinions. In one of your responses you say you will pay no more that

Then titles should be stated as such instead of being listed as fact. “Britain's youth doesn't care!” in a title is not an opinion. As stated in my previous comment the title should be reflective of the article. Stating, “Me and my 10 friends don't care” or even “I don't think Britain's youth care” would be a more suitable title.

Yes catchy: “A young female contributor who has carried out an informal survey without scientific controls has provided us with the following impression of a summary of those views…”*

*Actual views may differ from those described. Views may go up as well as down. Views may fade with use.

Clearly stating that from a website who's tagline is “Daily news and opinion for 250,000 industry executives and mobile fanatics.” Maybe articles should be highlighted as to whether they are news or opinion. And the way this article is presented in the title it sounds factual, where it is clearly opinion. 🙂

I'm in total agreement there. The iPhone is just an item for style and shallowness (sorry to everyone out there who has one), but that's all it is.
It screams “look at me, I've paid way too much money for a rubbish contract, and a mid-line phone, that likes to pretend it offers something new… This is what money can buy!” and with that I have to ask, what exactly are you buying?

As for the job thing…. I'm currently unemployed. I got declined jobs at Waitrose and Munch… I'm looking, and sent off my CV (well, the best I could rumble up), and have yet to receive any response!

Thanks for reading,


This might accidently qualify you for as the first taker for Ewan's jobs wanted page!


I based the article on what I knew was the trend anyway. I was thinking about the lack of discussion, or even awareness, and decided to make a survey to see if my views were justified. Sadly, I don't know hundred people in this age group (who I could ask quickly and easily), and therefore I limited the numbers for my maths abilities (or lack of). I actually recieved a number of other responses, after I had written the article, and they all followed suit.

The article wasn't about BRITAIN not knowing, but the youth. The teenage population has dominance of this and many other technological aspects of industry, and I found it mildly amusing that Apple had so badly failed to make barely anyone I know aware of their products.

As for Geographical location, I'm based just outside Greater London (Sutton to be exact), we have a reasonable High Street which all of my friends visit frequently. To get to the main shopping areas you have to walk past a collection of Phone shops o2, Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U, Three, and there are Orange, T-Mobile, Vodaphone, Zavvi ( Virgin Mobile), and a number of other mobile shops too. So this isn't exactly a location scarce of mobile technology, in fact there are more Mobile shops than there are Fast Food restaurants, which I'm sure we can agree is quite a feat.

As for the opinion… Well I was asked to share my opinions on things that I view from this industry; this is also a News and Opinion website. I'm not the only one who has shown a large amount of opinion (like or dislike) towards Apple. I'm not trying to persuade people from not buying an Apple, but highlighting my opinions, and the opinions of people the same age as me.

The title… Well, that wasn't my choice.

Thanks for reading,

“Imagine the Mobile market like this? Imagine having no choice other than the iPhone? It

“and I found it mildly amusing that Apple had so badly failed to make barely anyone I know aware of their products. “

That's either a completely false statement made in an attempt to substantiate your owns opinion of the iPhone or your friends have no access to any form of news media. This has been the most talked about product launch in recent memory!

Both my daughters had the original iPhones “hacked” and working on T-Mobile and I've lost count of the number I brought back from the US for their friends.


Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you like it!

I hope there is more inspiration in the mobile industry soon. I was in about three of the ten Carphone Warehouse's in Kingston earlier, and it's all so bland. Nothing stands out, and that I feel is a shame; escpecially when there are so many talented people out there!

Thanks again,


I can honestly say hand on heart, the results I received were from teenagers, my age, who have access to the internet, watch a lot of TV, do a lot of shopping in the local highstreet (which has a whole arrange of phone shops), and these answers are completely true.

I have to say, I hadn't heard anything other than from my own findings and from here.

Thanks for reading,


i am sorry i have to agree, its not just the UK's youth. My own social group (students) are exactly the same, if we look at the original iphone only one of about say 100 of my mates got one. The iphone 3g, no one as yet. I personally the believe the iphone is hyped up especially on mobile sites.

It would be interesting to see the results of a wider survey. I realise this article was only ever supposed to be one person's viewpoint but why not have another go? While your own experience is interesting I would love to see something a bit more representative. Given that your friends are likely to be reasonably similar to you it is not altogether surprising that they share your views to a certain extent so why not cast a wider net.

Bear in mind also that there may be people who would like an iphone but are too intimidated by the threat of being mugged. I know a few relatives within the same age group who fall into this category.

That bit about killing the mp3 market is a bit off though. What is that about?? I think of all the accusations you can throw at Apple this is not one of them.

Congratulations on being Ewan's first successful plancement from his jobs wanted page. Thought I might drop past and grin.

Congratulations on being Ewan's first successful plancement from his jobs wanted page. Thought I might drop past and grin.

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