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:
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It would seem implausible to assume that the MP3 giant Apple is shoddy at advertising, wouldnâ€™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 Iâ€™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 â€œAre you aware that the new iPhone is being released this week?â€ 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 Â£60, and the highest being Â£200. The most common result was Â£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 donâ€™t like the layout of the phone, and I donâ€™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 Â£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.
“Ermâ€¦ Maybe around Christmas yâ€™know?”
And the cost?
“Err Â£350 probably, maybe moreâ€.
Am I going mad? Didnâ€™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, itâ€™s an Apple, itâ€™s overpriced, and limited to a horrible network with momentous prices.
No one I know of even owns the “old” iPhone. I havenâ€™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 isnâ€™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 Iâ€™m watching a lot of television), or any grand opening events that we witnessed last year?
I sense that this time around, Apple doesnâ€™t feel bothered, and in particular, theyâ€™re not even bothering to gain the body of the mobile market, the teenagers, and the young people.
In a sense, Iâ€™m relieved that Apple, and the iPhone isnâ€™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 Iâ€™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? Itâ€™s horrible to even contemplate, and for this reason I want Apple to fail, itâ€™s just Iâ€™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, donâ€™t hesitate to contact me.
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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.