PLEASE NOTE: I originally posted this on my personal blog. Since then there has been some lively debate in my comments section from tech folks over the iPhone and my “results”. – Chris Elrod
The main purpose of my personal blog…my speaking ministry…and my postings on this blog…is to keep church leaders informed about what motivates…and doesn’t motivate….young 20-somethings to get involved with church. It’s a changing world with changing attitudes out there that seems to be miles away from what we are doing in churches today.
Recently, I decided to take an informal poll of young 20-somethings to see what they thought about the new Apple iPhone. The blogs, mainstream press and gadget-sites are all ga-ga over this thing…forget the fact that very few people have actually seen one in the wild…much less touched it. Everyone over the age of 25 with a pulse wants one. However, I wasn’t convinced that it was even on the radar of younger folks.
The poll was very informal and mostly handled through email on Facebook or MySpace. While it wasn’t very scientific, I polled a sample of 100 people under the age of 25 from all over the United States over the last two weeks and got 76 responses. This is what I found out:
100% knew about the iPhone.
92% knew it was launching sometime in June 2007 through AT&T Wireless.
47% personally sought out information online about the capabilities of the iPhone.
21% said they would head into an AT&T store to play with it.
11% said they had some interest in buying one.
6% said they were going to buy an iPhone when it launched.
83% said they had no interest in buying one.
In some follow-up communication I discovered that the main reasons why they were not even interested in purchasing an Apple iPhone was (in order):
1. The features and capabilities of the iPhone were just not relevant to their life. Apparently it can’t do text messaging, high-speed net surfing, download multi-media messages or have customized ringtones/screensavers (i.e., no individual personality). They also said it was too big and fragile for their everyday use.
2. All of the hype and marketing made it seem cheesy. I was confused on this one so I asked for some clarification. Here’s one answer that sums up the point…”the commercials are not geared for young people…they’re a corporate sell-out to reach 30-somethings…they’re trying to impress older folks. Pirates Of The Caribbean is a family movie, calamari is a rich man’s food and the seafood place they found online is no place that people my age would go. It’s so over-hyped and marketed that it just comes off as cheesy.” Enough said!
3. Too much money to pay for stuff they already own. The logic was why lay out $600 when you already own a cell phone, a laptop and an iPod? Good point.
4. Wasn’t willing to switch to AT&T Wireless. Some did indicate when their current contracts with other carriers were up they might consider an iPhone.
5. No proven track record. Most folks I polled are still stinging over the flickering screens and breaking cases of the first generation Macbooks. They want to wait a few years until the bugs are fleshed out and third party developers have added the features that the iPhone currently lacks.
Why do I mention this poll on a blog for church planters and leaders. Because modern churches seem to think that acquiring the latest technology some how makes them relevant. I’ve already seen some church leadership and church tech blogs stating how it will be hip and cool to own one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 41-years-old that still worships at the “Church of Technology”…at 6:00 PM on June 29th I’ll be in line at my AT&T store to play with an iPhone. However, the folks I’m trying to reach for Christ couldn’t give a rip about them.
If young 20-somethings don’t give a rip about the Apple iPhone…what else do I think is cool or relevant…that they don’t?