No iPhones … I found out why elementary school students were complaining loudly.

A child looks at an iPhone 13 Pro at the “Apple Jamsil” in Lotte World Tower, Songpa-gu, Seoul on the 25th. Photo = news 1

“My daughter is in elementary school and asks me to exchange it for an iPhone 14 as a graduation gift.”

Parent A in his forties recently got into trouble. My daughter, who will enter middle school next year, begged me to buy the latest iPhone. The lowest price for the simplest model of the iPhone 14 series starts at 1.25 million won. Although the amount was well over 1 million won, she said she promised to buy it eventually because she couldn’t resist her daughter’s flashlight. Person A sighed, saying, “I would do anything if I just bought an iPhone, so I decided to buy a phone on the condition that I get a high score on the English Academy level test. It’s not cheap, but I had no other choice. than to buy it every day “.

Another parent, Mr. B, with a child in middle school also shared a similar experience. My daughter, who is going to seventh grade next year, asked me to buy a new iPhone. The cell phone that I was initially going to change was a self-sufficient cell phone priced at 500,000 won, but my daughter begged me to say “Absolutely not” and it was embarrassing. Mr. B said: “More than half of middle school students are said to use iPhones these days.” He said, “I don’t think I can afford not to buy them because I see them crying because they’re the only ones in the class who don’t use iPhones.”

“A big cry for not buying me” … iPhone used by elementary school students

Citizens viewing Apple products at the Apple Store's Jamsil branch opened on the 25th at Lotte World Mall in Songpa-gu, Seoul.  Jamsil Branch is the 4th Apple Store in Korea opened on the 24th the day before.  foto = Yonhap News

Citizens viewing Apple products at the Apple Store’s Jamsil branch opened on the 25th at Lotte World Mall in Songpa-gu, Seoul. Jamsil Branch is the 4th Apple Store in Korea opened on the 24th the day before. foto = Yonhap News

According to the industry on the 26th, Apple’s iPhone popularity among 1020 students is clear. As the cell phone penetration rate among young people is on the rise, most students own smartphones even in the upper grades of elementary school. In particular, preference for the Apple brand is on the rise among the younger generation of the 1020 generation.

This trend is actually reflected in the statistics. According to a Gallup Korea survey of 1,000 Korean adults in July, the majority of smartphone brands used by the 1020th generation were Apple iPhones (52%). It also increased by 3 percentage points from 49% in 2019. On the other hand, over the same period, the number of 1020 generations using Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy only increased by 1 percentage point from 43% to 44%. If you look at the thirty-year-olds who belong to the young “young”, the rate of use of the iPhone has jumped by 8 percentage points in three years, going from 34% to 42% in the same period. Galaxy, on the other hand, dropped 2 percentage points from 55% to 53%.

Source = Gallup Korea

Source = Gallup Korea

The intention to buy an iPhone was also higher as the children were younger. 2% (70s) → 4% (60s) → 8% (50s) → 20% (40s) → 39% (30s) → 53% (1020s) seemed to be

I can’t pay, but … Influence of luxury disclosure, celebrity effect, etc.

Citizens viewing Apple products at the Apple Store's Jamsil branch opened on the 25th at Lotte World Mall in Songpa-gu, Seoul.  Jamsil Branch is the 4th Apple Store in Korea opened on the 24th the day before.  foto = Yonhap News

Citizens viewing Apple products at the Apple Store’s Jamsil branch opened on the 25th at Lotte World Mall in Songpa-gu, Seoul. Jamsil Branch is the 4th Apple Store in Korea opened on the 24th the day before. foto = Yonhap News

In fact, it can be said that the iPhone is more inconvenient to use in Korea than the Galaxy. It is inconvenient to read files with specific extensions such as Hangul (hwp) files, which are widely used in Korea, and it is difficult to install a separate application (app) to open the file. There is also a disadvantage that it is not easy to organize photos and files compared to the Android series. Notably, the iPhone does not have the ‘recording during a call’, which is the Galaxy’s strong point, and the ‘pay’ function, which allows you to pay only by carrying the phone without a physical card. The size of the subsidy for the popularization of mobile phones is also small compared to other brands, so the price burden is high.

However, Apple’s unique ecosystem is cited as one of the reasons young people prefer the iPhone. Sharing and communication functions such as “Airdrop” (file transfer function between Apple products) or “iMessage” (iPhone text service) are representative. Most of the features supported by the Galaxy series are also supported, but he said he felt a higher level of satisfaction when using the iPhone. Middle school student C said, “When I used a cell phone other than (Apple), I felt alienated because I couldn’t play games that can only be played on iMessage. More and more friends are switching to iPhones.”

foto = Yonhap News

foto = Yonhap News

This means that when a close friend uses an iPhone, the tendency to use the iPhone is strong in the case of teenagers who are heavily influenced by their peer group. The popularization of luxury goods and celebrity effects is also believed to play a role in the iPhone’s preference among teenagers. Last year, the Blackpink idol, which was the existing Galaxy model, became a hot topic when everyone switched phones to iPhones. The reason for looking for an iPhone is that the mind of imitation works by looking at “mirror selfies” in which the Apple logo of an enviable celebrity is clearly shown.

Apple’s sophisticated design and iPhone’s unique photographic effect are also interpreted as contributing factors to the iPhone’s preference. Elementary school student D said, “If you take pictures with your iPhone, it turns out good. When you’re in the upper grade of elementary school, there are a lot of older sisters who collect pocket money or scold parents for buying an iPhone.” In the online community, there is also an open joke that says, “If you don’t use an iPhone, you are being bullied.”

“1020 is the future customer base” … There’s a reason Apple stores are skyrocketing

Attendees attend the iPad Procreate experience event at the Apple Store Jamsil Media Preview held at the Lotte World Tower in Songpa-gu, Seoul, on the morning of the 22nd. Foto = Yonhap News

Attendees attend the iPad Procreate experience event at the Apple Store Jamsil Media Preview held at the Lotte World Tower in Songpa-gu, Seoul, on the morning of the 22nd. Foto = Yonhap News

From the point of view of mobile phone manufacturers, the main focus is on the young generation. It is considered a “major customer base” as it will become a major buying group in the future. To capture future generations of consumers, phone manufacturers are focusing on increasing product awareness and brand experience. In particular, the reason why Apple is rapidly increasing the number of mobile phone stores in Seoul, namely the “Samsung bedroom”, is also being interpreted as a reason.

Apple has opened sequential Apple Stores in the Garosu-gil, Myeong-dong, Yeouido and Jamsil areas in Seoul, where the MZ generation is concentrated. At the newly opened Apple Store’s Jamsil branch, Apple has prepared a new pickup area that is upgraded from Myeong-dong’s existing store for the MZ generation that is used to online shopping. For the first time in Korea, a small concentrated space such as “Today at Apple Class” has also been introduced which cannot be seen in existing stores. It is a strategy to increase consumer loyalty by forming the so-called “apple culture”.

Citizens viewing Apple products at the Apple Store's Jamsil branch opened on the 25th at Lotte World Mall in Songpa-gu, Seoul.  Jamsil Branch is the 4th Apple Store in Korea opened on the 24th the day before.  foto = Yonhap News

Citizens viewing Apple products at the Apple Store’s Jamsil branch opened on the 25th at Lotte World Mall in Songpa-gu, Seoul. Jamsil Branch is the 4th Apple Store in Korea opened on the 24th the day before. foto = Yonhap News

Apple executives are also watching the Korean market. Apple CEO Tim Cook sends a congratulatory message via Twitter every time an Apple Store opens in Korea. On the 25th, CEO Cook said on Twitter: “We opened ‘Apple Jamsil’ in bustling Songpa-gu. We are happy to meet more customers in Seoul.”

If the introduction of Apple Pay, considered a disadvantage in the future, becomes a reality, Apple’s share in the home smartphone sector is expected to increase significantly. Apple’s domestic smartphone market share has increased from 16.6% to 24.4% over the past three years since 2019. An industry official said: “Korea is not a major market in terms of volume of Apple’s sales, but consumers are familiar with information technology (IT (devices) and is considered an important market with Samsung Electronics. When it is introduced, the basic user is expected to increase further. “

Journalist Jo Ara of Hankyung.com [email protected]

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