Apple's secret weapon for Gen Z

Onur Demirkol
Feb 22, 2023

Undoubtedly, Apple is working to dominate the next generation of people, but the question is, how do they do that, and what is the distinguishing point?

Looking at the competition between Apple and Android devices, it is possible to say that there is an ongoing war that will not end soon. Both sides try to make investments mainly to keep the younger generations in their hands, and it looks like Apple is one step ahead in the race. According to a report by the Financial Times, 34% of iPhone users in the United States are in the Gen Z age group, from the mid-to-late 90s to the early 2010s.

iMessage is one of the strongest weapons in Apple's arsenal. It is an internet-based messaging service for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS users. iMessage is only for the mentioned operating systems, and Android users can't use its benefits. Its user base and success, especially among American teens, help Apple hold the lead and create a possible user base for the future. Its influence has created a habit over time, and in the future, Apple is looking to hold them and add a new generation with new features and more.

Messaging became some kind of a "meme" among iPhone users. Whenever they see a green-backgrounded message, they understand that the person is possibly an Android user, and the messaging turns into SMS rather than the internet-based iMessage. This situation results in social pressure that leads Gen Z to buy iPhones, not to be left out. It is arguable whether Apple's strategy is deliberate or a culture created by the consumers unintentionally.

The "green-backgrounded message" situation even turned into a viral TikTok trend, with women rating others and considering Android phone usage a red flag.

According to Apple Insider, Apple's senior vice president of Services, Eddy Cue, wanted to bring iMessage to Android but was overruled by other executives. "We really need to bring iMessage to Android. I have had a couple of people investigating this, but we should go full speed and make this an official project," he wrote in the email. Craig Federighi's response was: "In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for [the] bulk of cell phone users, I am concerned [that] iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones."

iMessage is the main reason iPhones are more popular among younger consumers; a whole generation is growing up with this social pressure, believed by many. However, considering how everything started, we should remember that people search for the technology that most helps them with little effort.


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  1. Tony said on February 22, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    As someone who recently went back to Android from iOS, I find more friends with Android RCS enabled, compared to how many had iMessage. Since Android is turning it on by default now, iMessage is about to be the minority.

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