Guest post by Red Slice intern, Suzi An
I traveled to Los Angeles for ten days in early July for a class that I took during the spring and I somehow ended up having my phone stolen five days into the trip. Once I returned back to Seattle, I immediately went to purchase a new phone. I was met with a dilemma: be connected constantly with a smart phone or have a simple phone that performs the necessary functions. As a college student, I feel as if I am missing out on having a smart phone because everyone around campus would be walking around with their fancy phones that could do a million things while my phone struggled to keep up with me. Maybe it was fate that my phone magically disappeared because I was immediately drawn in to the world of a thousand possibilities in the palm of my hand.
When I walked into the retail store, I noticed that T-Mobile had a wall dedicated to shiny and sleek Android phones. Being attracted to sparkly and shiny things, I ended up walking towards the long white wall and staring at a cell phone that essentially looked like the iphone but in Samsung form. I was mesmerized. All thoughts of buying a non-smart phone had completely vanished into the consumer’s abyss. I knew that because T-Mobile does not carry iphones, this was the closest I would ever come to own such a device. My mind flashed back to the TV ad campaigns that Android had put out within the year. All I could think of was what the Droid actually does. The high-tech machine robot in all the commercials had gotten me intrigued by all the possibilities that this phone could do. I carefully pick up the sleek phone and the bright screen turns on. I tap the screen and see that the fallen-leaves-on-water wallpaper moves as if my finger had dropped into the water. It was a little much for me but it was fascinating to see this phone interact with me. I then see all these different applications that were on the screen. I slide through at least 8 screens where each was had at least two apps on it. Long story short, I made my decision in less than a second. I wanted a smart phone just like everyone else so that I could check the weather or stalk people on Twitter or play awkward games like The Moron Test (which I passed, I’m not sure if that means I’m a moron…).
Obviously, I purchased this ridiculously expensive phone and my friends and I compared it to the iphone and their ad campaigns. Now, when most people think about the iphone, they think of AT&T, poor reception, and dropped calls. There is no image that I associate with the iphone, other than the sleek Apple whereas with the Android, I associate it with a hi-tech robot that is able to do everything I want it to do. That’s not a very positive way for the iphone to be perceived but no one seems to care because it’s an Apple product. It is highly desired, easy to use, and profitable. Apple products are undoubtedly popular among college students and because the iphone came before Android, Apple is going to win over customers because people are familiar with the brand. Apple practically infests my campus (to which I undeniably contribute). Although I am a huge Apple fan, I cannot seem to shake the Droid away. It most definitely Does. I’ve spent more time fiddling with my Droid than I have with any iphone. The Droid commercial lives up to its name and I get excited every time I see the small green robot pop out of the corner of my screen. It is as if he’s saying, Hello, I’m here to make your life easier.