The younger generation is feeling peer pressure to maintain brand loyalty to Apple or get kicked out of group chats.
- Apple is the leading brand in smartphone production, controlling 24.1% of the market share. This control is even higher among Gen Z, which has 34%.
- The growth in popularity of iPhones among this 11- to 26-year-old generations contributes to fears of social ostracization and extreme brand loyalty among Gen Z, according to a report from The Financial Times.
- This is good news for Apple, which is still reeling from a challenging year of losses and stress. This signals that younger generations will also be more likely to purchase other Apple products in the future.
- The downside comes from the peer pressure it creates among the younger generation, who are reporting issues with social ostracization.
Why It’s Important
Stronger brand loyalty is good news for the company. As we previously reported, Apple suffered multiple setbacks in 2022. Its February 2 financial report noted a 5% year-over-year decrease in revenue—down to $117.2 billion, the first time in seven years that the company reported a decrease in revenue growth.
This came in the aftermath of the EU tightening restrictions on charger cable standardization, Chinese production facilities being shut down by COVID lockdowns and political unrest, and supply-chain issues limiting phone supplies during the holiday season.
iPhones have a feature that marks group conversations where all users are iPhone users by labeling the chat blue. When an Android or Samsung phone enters the group, it turns green, and certain features glitch. This signifies that the conversation has been transitioned from Apple’s iMessage to standard text conversations. This is a purposeful design by Apple to encourage iPhone usage in group settings.
Speaking with FT, several analysts say that this feature is contributing to a culture of hostility toward younger smartphone users who don’t have iPhones, as it disrupts group chats. These users are often chased out of group conversations.
“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,’” says YPulse manager Anastasia Pelot. “The social pressure to get an iPhone is pretty insane,” says Frontman CEO Annelise Hillman.
“The strength of the Apple ecosystem creates a moat that is fairly impenetrable by the competition. It really makes it hard to change the trajectory. Apple is just going to continue to gain share over time,” analyst Shannon Cross tells The Financial Times.