Apple’s iPhone Seems to Lose Its ‘Coolness’ to U.S. Teens Despite the Expected Cheaper Version Release

While in many emerging markets any version of iPhone as a gift may still be regarded the manna by merely all teens,  just 67% of their U.S. affluent age mates would like to have an iPhone as their next gadget upgrade, the U.S. marketing agency Buzz Marketing Group’s survey reveals. Instead, 22% would prefer ‘more youthful’ Samsung’s devices, which is certainly a sign of a cool-off to Apple’s ‘magic’ products among the millennial audience.

“Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older [Millennials], but I don’t think they are connecting with Millennial kids. [They’re] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy,” Tina Wells of Buzz Marketing Group commented to on Saturday.

Pic. Apple loses ‘coolness’ to US millenials

Most probably, two reasons can be named: the price for Apple’s products is still very high (though, guarantees the company the highest in the industry profit margin of 26%) and, secondly, a wise strategic take on Apple’s public image by its main rival Samsung’s adverts associating iPhone with a smartphone for adults only.

Regarding the price point, Apple is believed to make the right step in this direction by launching a cheaper version of the iPhone retailing at about $99-$149. Although never confirmed by Apple official spokespersons, the story on a low-end plastic device, which is to be rolled out by the end of 2013, has been investigated and delivered by Bloomberg and WJS. With this move, Apple will be able to catch up the gap in volume of shipments topped by Samsung. According to IDC, Android-based devices made up 75% of smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2012, while the iOS-based ones did just 15%. Moreover, more affordable version will attract both adults in emerging markets and millennial kids globally.

The second reason for iPhones becoming ‘uncool’ to teens may be numerous Apple vs Samsung lawsuits, resulting in a change of public perception of Apple.

“The litigation floodgates are open and Samsung definitely wants to go to war, so they’re more aggressive than ever with their media for that prized [youth] demographic,” commented an advertising executive working with Samsung on a series of bullying ads aimed to blacken the image of iPhone and its owners, who spend hours in a line to buy an overpriced ‘next big thing’.

The controversial speculations that iPhones are ‘not that cool anymore’ have been circulating for a while. Back in 2011, the U.S. HTC CEO Martin Fichter commented: «If you look at a college campus, MacBook Airs are cool. iPhones are not that cool anymore». So that’s some comfort for the boys and girls at Apple then, but not for iPhone owners  the big lame-os».

Despite this negative mini wave of ‘chilliness’ to Apple products among the youngsters, Apple has been the #1 innovative brand (every year since 2005 according to the latest report by BCG, for example) and in 2012 was named the most valued company in history in terms of market capitalization with a market-cap over $620 billion (as of August 21, 2012).

Thumbnail image courtesy: Bloomberg, photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi