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Vicky Pollard has an iPhone 4; You are not cool any more

You know Vicky Pollard, right?  Fictional ‘stereotypical’ chav?  Sponging off the state?  12 children by 12 men? Dresses in a pink Kappa tracksuit and leggings? Introduced to us by the Little Britain team?

Well I saw an almost identical match for Vicky Pollard this morning on the train from Windsor & Eton Riverside Station.  She arrived into the carriage shouting daaahnn thaaa fohhhn (‘down the phone’), chewing a huge gob of gum and carrying what looked like her college work in a Tesco bag.  She was also swigging regularly from a bottle of Lucozade.  She looked about 17-18ish, but it’s difficult to give an accurate estimate — as she was also sporting a Croydon Facelift.

I attempted to document the experience — I really wanted photographic (or ideally video) evidence — but alas, I wasn’t able to do so.

I took a picture of my hand in the general direction of ‘the Vicky’ to test the camera and to see if she’d notice.  She did.  Her head shot round at the ‘kaaaarrr-cheeesh’ camera sound from my BlackBerry Bold.  When she realised I was taking a picture of myself, she relaxed and ignored me.  But I didn’t risk aiming the phone directly at her to snap a pic for your viewing pleasure.

For that, I apologise, dear reader.

However, why is this experience notable beyond the contrast to the standard commuter I expected to find on the Windsor line?

Well, Vicky Pollard had an iPhone.

An iPhone 4, no less.

I spotted it immediately.

In my tweet this morning (during the experience) I demanded to know where the Apple Brand Police were.  Vicky was most definitely NOT on brand.

Funny isn’t it?  Apple go to great lengths to ensure their products are displayed and marketed just so.  Then Vicky here walks on to the train and causes me to curse my two iPhone 4s.  (I’m currently carrying an iPhone 4 on Orange and an iPhone 4 on Three).  After this experience, both of them feel a little dirtier and a little less cooler than they did when I got up this morning.

Not good.

You can’t call it a premium device when a college student (I’m being polite and hoping for the best) is waltzing around with one, can you?  They’re just so much more accessible now.  They have to be.  Everyone in the UK who wanted an iPhone at the 35 pound price point (inclusive of ‘Apple tax’) has already got one, especially since all the networks in the UK opened up to support the device.

Now the operators are having to spread the iPhone love.  You can now pick up a 16Gb iPhone 4 from operator Three at the cost of £99 up front and £30/month on a 24-month contract.  That’ll get you:

  • 500 any network minutes
  • 5000 texts
  • 5000 Three-to-Three minutes
  • 1GB Internet

£99 isn’t beyond the realms of your average mobile consumer, especially when it’s a ‘premium’ Apple product they’re being asked to pay for.  Just how many new consumers are coming to iPhone 4?

Given that Apple will shortly be able to knock out 200,000 iPhones a day, I wonder just how many iPhones the UK marketplace can handle?  The Vicky Pollard today appeared delighted with hers.  She yapped away on it a little while then spent the rest of the journey tap-tap-tapping away at what looked like a few different apps.

It would be really interesting to see if Vicky had bought any applications, or if she was just using free ones.  Irrespective, it’s good for the iPhone ecosystem.  I’m not too sure about the general brand perception though.  Is it still cool to own an original iPhone?  Or an iPhone 4?

Fascinating.

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.

18 replies on “Vicky Pollard has an iPhone 4; You are not cool any more”

Associating myself with other people through a common phone seems as uncool as things get. Besides I think I’d rather associate myself the ‘Vicky’ you met on the train than with someone so unsure about their standing in their own social groups that they attempt to cement their position by slating off people that are different in an appallingly patronising and sanctimonious manner. You mention you have two iPhone 4s. I’m glad I have none.

Not that I ever thought iPhones were really “cool”, but when I saw the plumber take one out of his dirty trousers' pocket when he came to fix a thing the other day it definitely bumped the device a few notches down my “Coll Wall” (I hope Jezza won't sure for infirngement). 🙂

Who cares if it’s cool or not. I don’t buy my phones because they are cool but because they are the best at what I want.

I think this is great and shows the democratisation of technolgy.

Remember when only businesses could afford laptops and they were a sign of importance? Now everyone has one and the government is setting targets to get everybody on line.

Remember when mobile phones were bricks and only yuppies had one? Now everyone, even Vicky Pollard, has one.

Sure, from a brand police perspective, Apple doesn’t want Vicky bringing down their brand, but they do want her money from buying apps and clicking on ads.

Also, putting on my mobile media hat, it is great to see the iPhone being used by people other than the London based media industry or people with a high income. Perhaps now there will be an audience that will be interested in branded apps from the likes of McDonald’s, Burger King, Argos et al. Just think of all the Elizabeth Duke jewllery that will be sold now that Vicki has entered the world of mobile media via her iPhone!

I imagine Apple are more concerned with selling to a mass market than with maintaining some sort of niche exclusivity, besides which the hard-core of Macheads are unlikely to abandon them even if the phone becomes mainstream. I expect within the next year or so they'll diversify though: expect to see iPhone 5 in “standard” and “platinum” editions or somesuch.

…something else interesting I've noticed. Since I started working in an office where *everyone* has either an iPhone, an HTC Desire or a Nexus One, whenever I pull out my HTC Hero people gather around and coo “ooh, what's that?” Now the Hero, at one year old, is already starting to feel pretty dated, the Desire & Nexus run rings around it, but this makes me think about several things:
– Having a “different” phone is in some way cool.
– iPhones are bog-standard, and very few people get excited about them.
– HTC's current product line are all a bit same-ish, all a bit “iPhone wannabe with curvy edges”. They're all boring. I'm actually holding off buying a new HTC phone until they make another one which looks as nice as the Hero.
– 1970s sci-fi, Space 1999-chic, white & rounded-off square bits, are *in*.

Having seen first hand the many iphone users here in the states, I can tell you the device lost its “coolness” over a year ago. It's typically everybodys first smartphone, many comming from moto razrs previously, so they are amazing by the device, they are typcially tech illiterate, and most of the celebrities using them are pretty much douchebags. just my 2 cents.

Reminds me of something I heard a while back, “the <insert cool object> may be cool and all that, but it does not make you cool for having one……it's not like you fucking invented it, you just went to a shop and bought it”

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Unless of course you get a white one (at least that's what I'm telling myself).

On a side note, I'm working on a project at Vodafone again, and the number of iPhones knocking around the Newbury campus now is staggering. Very different from when I was last here 3 years ago 🙂

What a judgmental snob! Do you think Steve Jobs (who by the way is a massive geek) should personally check you’re cool enough before you can get an iPhone? Its a phone, nothing else. The Apple Brand Police were probably too busy looking at themselves in the mirror or telling each other how cool their dumbass 1980’s retro haircuts look.

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