Phone Wars Update: What Battles Are Brewing In the Smartphone World?

When we asked Millennials to name the one device they can’t live without, more said they can’t live without their smartphones than those who named laptop, tablet, and television combined. This generation is passionate about their mobile devices, and they carry them nearly everywhere they are. 45% of Millennials say that they spend two-ten hours a day on their smartphones, and 44% say they look at their phone over six times in a given hour. With so much of the time and attention of this very desired generation of consumers devoted to their smartphones, it is no wonder that the war around smartphone tech and who can capture the young, often fickle, tech-savvy audience is continuing to rage on. With new entrants into the smartphone competition seeming to pop up at every turn, it can be difficult to keep track of the battles waged within the war, and who is capturing the attention of Millennials. They are seen as the most tend to lead the consumer pack when it comes to tech preferences, influencing everyone from their parents to their friends when it comes to what mobile device to buy. Their own children are being influenced as well—Millennial parents are far more comfortable handing their young offspring a phone to play with, which might help explain why “between 2011 and 2013, the average time a child younger than eight spent on mobile devices tripled from five to fifteen minutes.” To help you keep track of it all, we’re giving you the latest breakdown on the smartphone market: what’s happing now, what’s coming next, and why it all matters. 

Android Could Eclipse iPhone 

iPhone still rules with Millennials: 45% of Millennials ages 14-29 surveyed in early October told us they currently own an iPhone, over 33% who own an Android. But Android is dominating the market otherwise and…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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