America’s teens hate Android phones, according to a new article from the Wall Street Journal:
Melissa Jones, a former teacher in Lebanon, Ind., observes that, among students, it’s considered most important to own a new, up-to-date phone. And judging by the copious TikTok content that pits users of the two operating systems against each other — with Android most frequently the butt of the joke — many teens associate Androids with older technology, and older people, no matter how new the phone actually is.
“You’re telling me in 2023, you still have a ‘Droid?” says 20-year-old online creator Abdoul Chamberlain during a video posted in April. “You gotta be at least 50 years old.” The video goes on to say that only parents have Androids, and despite the persistent claims from Android users that features like the cameras or battery life are better on the Android than the iPhone, Chamberlain refuses to get one. Other videos more somberly describe the experience of showing up to high school with an Android phone and being called “broke” or “medieval” by the poster’s peers. Still more describe the feeling of being the lone Android user in a group chat of iPhone owners, shamed by texts which, when rendered in Apple’s proprietary iMessage platform, appear in a revelatory bright green rather than the cool blue of messages sent between Apple devices.
Apple holds 57% of the phones market versus Android’s 42% in the U.S., according to web traffic analysis site Statcounter. The data skews worse for Android when narrowed down to teenagers. According to a survey of 7,100 American teens last year conducted by investment bank Piper Sandler, 87% of teens currently have an iPhone, and 87% plan on sticking with the brand for their next phone.
But the stigma regarding Android phones is mostly an American phenomenon, at least to the degree to which it affects purchase habits. Worldwide, per the same Statcounter report, Androids represent the significant majority of all smartphones, holding a 71% share of sales compared with Apple’s 28%.
Two years ago someone asked Reddit’s “Ask Teens” forum, do teenagers really hate Android phones? But the responses were a lot more balanced.
“No,” replied one (presumably teenaged) Reddit user. “Apple fanboys are just obnoxious, probably because they’re knowingly getting scammed.”