My take on the Apple vs. Android debate

Drew Hoffmaster | The Chronicle

Green text message bubbles. Lightning chargers. Different operating systems. These are just some of the differences between Apple and Android devices.

People always want to be trendy. To be trendy in 2007, people were rocking the newest fashion trend, low-rise jeans, or using Microsoft Vista. In June 2007, the first iPhone came out, and people flocked to it immediately. In October 2008, the first-ever Android phone, the HTC Dream, came out. Since then, people have debated which type of device is better, and the iPhone has won. According to Business Insider, 87% of teens said they own an iPhone and 88% said their next phone will be an iPhone.

To me, this is concerning. Why is the battle so one-sided? As an Android user, I feel it is just as functional as any Apple product. Android devices all use a type C charger, an SMS messaging system and a Linux-based operating system that users can edit, while iPhones used lightning chargers until the recent iPhone 15, iMessages and a standardized iOS operating system. Although both phones have similar features, I believe that the iPhone is more popular not because of the device itself, but because of modern-day consumerism and the need to fit in.

According to the University of Chicago, modern-day consumerism is defined as attaining goods and services beyond the necessities for a traditional display of one’s status. Many people view iPhones as a symbol of wealth, which I attribute to how Apple frames their devices to consumers as more exclusive and “trendy.” Because others have an iPhone, I must need one too, even if the phone itself is no better than a cheaper alternative.

People want to be trendy because it makes them feel like they fit in with others. No one wants to be the odd one out, wearing, drinking or eating something no one else is.

I feel that way at times with my Samsung S10, especially when people dread adding me to group chats. iMessage forces a completely new group chat to be made every time an Android is added and makes any Android user’s text bubbles a shade of green that many of my friends have complained about. I see people constantly being ridiculed over these slight inconveniences or hear sly comments being made about people just because they use a different phone.

I get it, people want to fit in with their friends. But a phone is a tool. It should be looked at for its usefulness, not just for having different colored text bubbles or group chat features. Much like other products, people should not just focus on using and wearing the trendiest products, but instead on the features and what each product truly offers them. I hope we as a society can eventually overcome this mindset and can move past our intense desires to use and buy items just because they are trendy.