iPhones have no appeal other than their exclusivity

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Saniya Mishra

A picture of some cases of Apple devices, including that of the iPhone 5 I refer to in the article

By Saniya Mishra, Forest Hills Central High School

I’ve heard all the glamor: Apple phones run faster, have better cameras, and are simply better quality.

Yes, some of these statements may hold some extent of veracity. However, Apple phones have one large drawback; while the company claims that its cellular devices have long lives and can be used for years to come, it also releases bugged updates for its older models to degrade their performance.

I used to have an iPhone 5, and the second I would unplug it, the battery would drop to zero. I had to get rid of it in the fall. Yes, it was an old phone, and, naturally, the battery’s health should deteriorate. But, the operating systems, which can be as up-to-date as Apple pleases, also play a part. And surprise, surprise, Apple does not offer the improved iOS versions that work to prevent such battery failures—as the one that plagued my old iPhone—to models earlier than the iPhone 6.

Still, these phones aren’t just harmful to their owners; they affect surrounding phone carriers, too. No, the phone doesn’t directly attack others—Apple phones are incredibly exclusive with certain texting features distinct from iPhones.

From AirDrop to FaceTime providing easy modes that Android users must go to third-party apps for, there are several aspects of iPhones that Androids don’t get to enjoy. While Android users must make a new group chat every time they want to add someone, their Apple counterparts directly add the person. But, the ease and convenience of Apple group chats don’t end there. Messages turn green instead of blue, with the presence of Androids, and Apple users then can neither name the chat nor add a picture for it. This earns many complaints and groans from the latter nearly every time someone in a circle doesn’t have the upmarket, branded cell phone.

It’s a masterful cycle that Apple has created, exploiting the purchasing power of the middle and upper classes in the U.S.”

Yet, it isn’t just the Apple phone itself that feeds this scheme. Many apps are only available through iOS, Apple’s own operating system, such as GamePidgeon, the prevalence of which can thus only be enjoyed by Apple users. Even app qualities are known to be superior, layered with convenient little features.

From the ease of enforced homogeneity to the refined operating system, non-Apple-users are subjected to pressure to convert. And many do.

They conform to the price of upwards of a thousand dollars at times. Since these iOS upgrades are restricted to iPhones, people are presented with two options: take the expensive luxury item or deal with the inferior operating system and be denied entry into the more convenient way of digital life.

Consequently, as of May 2022, only 44.29% of phones in the U.S. are Android. Because an insignificant percentage of phones have other operating systems, this leaves about 55% of phones from Apple. And because of the aforementioned pressures, this statistic is increasing, and as it increases, said pressures do, too. It’s a masterful cycle that Apple has created, exploiting the purchasing power of the middle and upper classes in the U.S.

Even so, this exclusivity is the only major attribute differentiating Apple. After all, Apple is just a brand. Likewise, Nike shoes and Sketcher’s shoes are both shoes, and an athlete can run just about as fast in either. So, what’s different about Apple?

Its exclusivity.

The pressure the company tactically employs to make people think that Apple phones are inherently much better. Yes, they can be the key to receiving less whining from others in your group chats, but in the end, everyone in those group chats is holding a smartphone that, at its bare processing units, is practically the same.

While iOS does offer enhanced experiences, the iPhones themselves are no more stellar than those of Android, and Apple purposefully ensures the deterioration of battery life after a set amount of years.

So, are you really still willing to buy it for its exclusivity alone?

This story was originally published on The Central Trend on January 13, 2023.