iPhone not for women – or teens!

June 28th, 2007 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

iphoneLike many others I’ve had my doubts about iPhone for a while, but I guess my concerns are more personal.  I just can’t see this thing working for me. 

At the moment I have a Motorola Razr v3i and I am continually having to clean the screen off.  The screen on that phone is quite small in comparison to the iPhone.  It really only touches my ear and a part of my cheek when I’m using it.  Nevertheless I still have to clean makeup off it every time I use it.  The iPhone is ALL screen so it would get a full face print on it every time you use it.  Gross!

(Take a look at the iSmudginator iPhone simulator for a hilarious take on this!)

Likewise looking at the Apple keyboard video today I can see there’s no way I’m going to be able to type on that keyboard with my fingernails either.  Fingernails are quite good for typing on small keypads but you tend to use the side of the nail rather than the tip.  The keyboard reminds me of punching a number pad on a wall … it’s designed for chunky male fingers and it’s just not sexy to type into something like that. 

I think they’ll need to do more than bring out a pink one to make the iPhone appeal to the ladies … it will need a complete rethink! 

Likewise most kids use their thumbs to text.  I’m not sure how that’s going to work out with the iPhone, especially as teens are so familiar with typing fast without looking at the keyboard.  

The iPhone’s predictive texting will be a big turn off for them – most kids think it’s really uncool to use predictive text.  It’s the first thing they switch off on their phones.  (“Predictive is for parents and old people.”)  Apple’s claim that they included a whole dictionary in the iPhone won’t mean anything to kids … even if the dictionary includes text speak (and I doubt that it does) it still won’t work for kids because txtspk it’s all about using the accepted language – and that changes daily!

Another thing that kids won’t like is the lack of MMS (and the inability to record video on the iPhone). Multimedia messaging is a $10 billion industry in Europe alone.  I just can’t see the phone companies accepting that kind of loss.  And I can’t see kids wanting to wholesale ditch their culture which is based around sending photos and videos to one another. 

I think the iPhone will very quickly be regarded as an ol’ folks phone!

Like it or not, with the exception of the Blackberry, nearly all mobiles are marketed towards teens and young people.  Can Apple really hope to change that? I seriously doubt it.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2007 at 12:14 pm and is filed under Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

19 Responses to “iPhone not for women – or teens!”

  1. Roman Says:

    iPhone not for women - or teens.
    iPhone for me.

  2. » Who’s the iPhone aimed at? | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com Says:

    [...] Consider this.  It’s a $500/$600 phone that combines a 4GB/8GB iPod.  It supports video, YouTube and Google Maps.  It has a 2 megapixel digital camera but can’t record video and doesn’t support MMS.  It has support for WiFi but when out of range you’re stuck with EDGE because there’s no 3G support.  Web pages are glacially slow to load.  It’s got some sort of cut down OS X on board but no official way to augment or leverage this with third-party apps (I’m pretty sure the iPhone will be cracked to run third-party apps maybe as soon as Monday).  The big touch-sensitive screen is nice and hopefully robust but seems like a turn-off for the ladies. The battery is internal and you have to send it off to Apple for replacement when it starts to get tired.  You’re stuck with AT&T for two years, oh, and it’ll cost you, in all, about $2,000 over the first two years.  With that kind of price tag, it surely can’t be aimed at teens. [...]

  3. Terts Says:

    Get rid of the disgusting nails! I am a woman and would never be caught with ridiculously long nails. IPhone is for me!

  4. Kathie Says:

    I wouldn't say I have long nails. And I certainly don't think they're disgusting ... they're just my nails, OK?

    I'm guessing you don't wear make up either??

    So let me get this right to use Apple products you first have to change your personal appearance??? Weird style message. I'm sure that will go down just great with the vast majority of women!!!

  5. Mario Says:

    my girlfriend wares makeup all the time and never gets it stuck on the screen, plus if the make up is of any quality it will stick to the skin not the glass.
    The thing about the mms and the carrier missing out on money is wrong because the at&t data plan that is sold with the iphone(all three of them) includes unlimited mms and Im so in a way you are paying for a service that you don't use. But at least the carrier is happy, so no loss in money there.

    Also I am still in the "teen" years, and can honestly say, that I hate those abbreviated sms and would never type something like that, if I want to say something I will take the time to write it.

  6. Kathie Says:

    It's not just makeup that makes smudges on phones. A lot of women are telling me normal moisturized skin makes smudges. And there was me thinking it was my makeup. I'm also not too sure about your suggestion that it's low quality makeup causing the problem. So as well as cutting off my fingernails Apple wants me to buy better quality cosmetics?? Still turned off. But I'll be watching the photo rags with interest to see which women celebs are seen with an iPhone first. Hmm I wonder if it'll have makeup smudges on it??

    My comment about MMS relates more to the worldwide market than USA (AT&T). I don't have figures on MMS use stateside but certainly the European figures suggest that young people who represent the vast majority of phone/MMS users will be unlikely to give it up. Likewise maybe you prefer to type your texts in full but that's not true of most young people. For Apple to hit their their - worldwide - sales target they are going to have to reach those young people. But first they'll have to convince some pretty sceptical mobile phone companies outside the US. In Europe it's being billed as a license to print money for whichever companies get the contract though.

    My belief is that maybe Apple have bitten off more than they can chew by venturing into the cellphone markets outside the US (take a look at this article which is a really good discussion of the differences between the European and US mobile markets).

    Sure the iPhone is a great looking innovative convergence device, but at the end of the day if it doesn't do what the best selling phones already do, it's not going to make it. We shall see ...

  7. Kathie Says:

    Business Week is reporting that the iPhone's worldwide sales are likely to be as low as 3 million units.

    This could change though if they announce a 3G version for Europe on Monday...

  8. Elliot Says:

    The iPhone's greatest strength, IMHO, is its Safari web browser. It's a far better browsing experience than any other mobile device I've seen. Also, every iPhone comes with a stereo headset with microphone, so there's no need to hold it up to your face-- though you can if you really want. I've started typing on the keyboard with two thumbs, and it's really cool. I never texted on a physical minikeyboard though, so I can't really say how it compares.

  9. Carlos A. Says:

    I guess it would be great if the iPhone had handwriting recognition software, like newton or like Palm Pilots.
    But... putting aside the fashion and hype about the iPhone, do you really need it? 😉
    Nice note, gave me many ideas. Thank you

  10. Kathie Says:

    This from Phyllis

    "Any suggestions for using the iPhone if I won't cut my fingernails?
    Human skin on a stylus? Any proxies for skin?"

    Good point. Nails won't work. If it has to be a finger that's doing the pressing then we need to find out if you can comfortably type using the pad of your finger (the full fingerprint size) as opposed to pressing with just the tip like the guy in the video ... coz that's where my nails are. I've heard that it's possible to type with your thumbs. I find it hard to believe that it's a full thumbprint and is more likely the side of the thumb ... which may offer some hope for those with nails.

    The iPod nano has a similar touch sensitive area on the volume control. It doesn't work if I use my nail either and I must admit that puzzled me for a while until I adapted to pressing with the side of my finger. Spinning the 'wheel' on the iPod is different to typing characters on the iPhone though, so I'm waiting to get some genuine feedback on the fingernail issue from a genuine girl with a genuine iPhone. I've had a couple of replies from guys saying they can't see it'd be a problem ... but curiously they didn't seem to know any actual women with nails who could test it out.

    C'mon someone must know!! I'll just have to wait until the celebs start sporting iPhones and check out the length of their nails...

  11. Alex Says:

    I just wanted to say that maybey when they get a cover out for it, it will be better?

  12. Laurie Says:

    For goodness sake, how much makeup are you putting on? I can't see anyone except a circus clown having this problem.

  13. Boffo-Girl Says:

    So the iPhone is not for women & teens OR circus clowns?

    I guess if I wanna use Apple products I'm supposed to change my cosmetics, my manicure AND my day job!


  14. Don’t look a gift horse in the Mac… » Vexentricity Says:

    [...] The screen keyboard mostly works ok with my fingernails because several of them have broken off lately and are hence short at the moment making typing possible.  It does get a lot of fingerprints on (at least they’re not ear prints like the iPhone).  [...]

  15. 50 reasons not to buy an iPhone Says:

    [...] 10. Many will see 3.5 inch display as the crowning glory of the iPhone – the interface oozes quality – but despite what Apple disparagingly called “small plastic keyboards” on other mobiles, they’re far more likely to work reliably than a touch-screen. Some have decided the iPhone is not designed for women or for those who’ve grown up texting using their thumbs. Business users are also going to be disappointed as emails may not be so easily typed out. [...]

  16. Daisy Says:

    This message is typed on my IPhone with long nails (no, I'm not a tart, but need a manicure).

    It's fine. Typed with my thumbs which is the way I used my

  17. Kathie Says:

    Thanks for your message Daisy!

    I'm not saying that it's impossible to type on with nails ... just difficult. The keyboard is especially difficult (with or without nails) when typing characters that are obfuscated, such as when entering the passphrase for an encrypted wifi connection. This is made especially difficult because the screen feedback shows only the capital letter pressed, which is confusing if you are typing in a mixture of upper and lower case characters in a strong password. It takes a lot of attempts and more than once I've switched phones and used GPRS instead...

    Meanwhile business users are finding it tough to type on the iPhone.

  18. Daisy Says:

    Hi Kathie!

    The password thing for wifi connections works fine for me (though was tricky the first couple of times I tried it). My Wifi passwords have capitals and numbers in them.

    I don't know whether the IPhone is teen friendly or not. But IMHO, I doubt the networks care - whilst teens are early to adopt and drive things forward, e.g. SMS, their ARPU is fairly low. They also go for pay as you go options rather than contracts (depending on market, in some it's not possible) so they churn more quickly. More importantly,the most lucrative customers for networks from a profit perspective are older contract customers. There are already lots of handsets on pay as you go that are very attractive to teens but it usually takes a lot to make an older contract customer switch networks.

    Personally, I don't wear make up on a daily basis but when I do, I also have the same issue of make up on my phone. And before anyone says anything, my make up is definitely considered high quality, if not premium. Setting it with translucent powder helps though. And I got some Iklear which is the only thing I've seen recommended (or even accepted) by Apple to clean IPhones.

    Thing that annoys me most about the IPhone is not being able to save a picture from an email, website etc to the phone. That's a bit female unfriendly 😉


  19. Misogyny at the top. « Arunrafi’s Blog Says:

    [...] postered with pink and a couple of smileys to make it more feminine. We all know the non responsive touch pads to finger nails,which giants forgot to notice. Pink.What [...]

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