Gen Z is key to Apple’s dominance, due to fear of green bubbles
Gen Z is key to Apple’s dominance, according to a new report – which says that fear of being “the green bubble guy” in group chats is a key motivation.
The report also underlines the importance the iPhone plays in hooking people into the Apple ecosystem, spurring sales of AirPods, iPads, and Apple Watches…
Gen Z’s importance to Apple
Gen Z is defined as those born after 1996, and it is among this generation where Apple has a vice-like grip, says the Financial Times.
While earlier generations are almost evenly split between iPhone and Android phones, Gen Z is all about Apple – responsible for a full third of all iPhone sales in the US. In contrast, just 10% of Samsung sales are to Gen Z.
Gen Z also spends more time on their phones than any other age group: up to six hours per day.
Gen Z’s fear of green bubbles
Part of the reason for Apple’s grip on Gen Z consumers is social pressure, in particular the visibility of not owning an iPhone when participating in group chats using iMessage. It’s not just the fact that the Android user’s messages will appear in green rather than blue, more that they cause the entire chat to fallback to SMS, turning everyone’s messages green.
“A green message to anyone with an Android throws off the entire chat, because now the whole thing has to be SMS,” said Annelise Hillman, the 24-year-old chief executive of Frontman, a men’s grooming business. “So the social pressure to get an iPhone is pretty insane” […]
“In the back of your mind it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I have to explain to my friends why our group chat is green now,'” said Anastasia Pelot, a manager at YPulse, a Gen Z and Millennials researcher.
A viral TikTok video asked women to imagine a guy was a 10, then asked how his rating would drop if messages from him were green. Many said that they wouldn’t reply, or that his rating would be halved.
The power of the ecosystem
Once people have bought an iPhone, the appeal of the ecosystem – in particular, the way that different Apple devices work together seamlessly (for some values of “‘seamlessly,” anyway) – means that there’s a very good chance the other devices Gen Z purchases will also be from Apple.
For every 100 iPhones sold, Apple will sell:
- 35 pairs of AirPods
- 26 iPads
- 17 Apple Watches
Samsung, in contrast, will sell just 11 tablets, six smartwatches, and six pairs of wireless earphones.
Report validates decision not to bring iMessage to Android
Apple at one point considered bringing iMessage to Android too, but within two years of launching it had decided against this. The main reason? It discouraged parents from giving their kids iPhones.
Several executives, including software chief Craig Federighi and head of marketing Phil Schiller, spoke out in opposition to such an Android app existing.
“iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones,” said Federighi in a lawsuit deposition.
Today’s report suggests that Apple wouldn’t hold the Gen Z dominance it does had that decision not been made.
Photo: Alexander Shatov/Unsplash
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