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“For years, Android users have been the butt of unoriginal jokes,” writes VOX ATL’s Zariah Taylor.  “However, many of these criticisms are unfounded and ignorant.”

Photo illustration by Zariah Taylor/VOX ATL

Dethrone The iPhone: How Android Jokes Are Deeply Rooted in Classism [OPINION]

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I have been a loyal Android user all my life, but I can’t say it is because of preference. Frankly, poverty has kept me from switching to Apple. Androids are cheaper than Apple phones, and more often than not, phone providers have deals that include free Android Phones. I got my current phone by switching to a new provider.  Was it the latest and most sleek phone? No. But the reality for many poor people in America is that they must take what is offered to them.

Being an Android user all my life, I can say that I haven’t always been impressed with the features that Android phones have. Granted, I have never owned the latest version of an Android phone. However, I have yet to use an Android phone that doesn’t freeze after a couple of weeks of use. The camera quality has left much to be desired. The emoticons are unattractive. I personally prefer the sleek and modern layout of iPhones. If I’m being honest, iPhones have always been superior in my eyes.

With that said, I’m not here to tear down Androids. I’m not here to compare features of iPhones and Androids. I’m not here to tell you why you should switch phones. I’m here to address the blatant discrimination against Android users.

For years, Android users have been the butt of unoriginal jokes. The jokes surrounding the common opinion that Android phones don’t perform well, have poor camera quality and don’t possess the same features that iPhones have. However, many of these criticisms are unfounded and ignorant.

Sure, as I mentioned before, many older versions of Android phones are of poor quality. They have bad camera quality, don’t have many innovative features, and aren’t up to par with iPhones. However, the minds that create Android phones have been stepping up to the plate as of late. Many YouTube personalities who rate and compare phones professionally will tell you that they are impressed with the quality of Android phones. Marquees Brownlee, an influencer who has over nine million subscribers and dedicates his YouTube channel to reviewing new technology, gave the Google Pixel 3 the best camera award for 2018.

Tech-ET, another YouTube channel that reviews technology, gave the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus the title of World’s Best Camera Smartphone of 2019. The Tech Chap named the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro the best phones of 2018. The list goes on and on. Despite the fact that Android phones continue to be acknowledged for their performance, why are Android users still looked down upon?

Apple has been exposed for many issues in the past. Earlier this year, iPhone users discovered a bug that made it possible for other users to hear their conversation using the FaceTime feature. Apple has admitted to using updates as a way to introduce bugs in older versions of their phones so that users would be forced to buy the more recent versions. Apple received criticisms for the removal of the headphone jack. iPhones are more prone to water damage and cracked screens. And again, with all that said, why are Android users still looked down upon?

The answer is clear: classism.

Classism is defined as “prejudice against or in favor of people belonging to a particular social class.” The thing that iPhone users don’t want to admit is that they judge Android users because they look at Androids as a display of poverty, and in Society, poor people are thought of as less than. If you don’t have an iPhone you are considered the minority, despite the fact that Android Phones are outselling Apple phones by a margin of 52.1 percent to 43.5 percent. Society has told us that people who own iPhones are of a higher echelon compared to Android users. 

A simple Twitter search will show you some of the jokes and stereotypes that Android users are subjected to. On top of seeing these posts everywhere on social media,  Android users also face this bullying in their daily lives. Being a person in a school where students are majority iPhone users, I myself have been on the receiving end of Android jokes. People with Android phones are called poor among other insults that all roots back to the fact that Androids are associated with destitution. People have purposely excluded me from group chats because they don’t want their messages to be green. I’ve experienced the feeling of social alienation when everyone is AirDropping some funny picture during class while I have no idea what they’re laughing about. I’m not using this anecdote as some kind of weapon to get sympathy. I’m mentioning this to show some of the cruelty that Android users face on a daily basis.

Many iPhone users will say that their discrimination towards Android users is “just jokes”, and that they don’t seriously hate Android users. However, the fact that these jokes have gone on continuously despite Android’s efforts to improve their phones in addition to the accolades that Android phones have received show you that these jokes are deeply rooted in society’s disgust of what they associate with indigence.

I’ll end by directing a few questions towards iPhone users. Do you dislike Androids because they don’t have as many features as iPhones? Do you dislike Androids because you don’t like its design? Fine. However, if iPhone users truly reflect on their dislike for Android phones, then they might find that their hate of Androids stems from the way they look at poor people and their place in society.

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comments (4)

  1. Hannah K Rogers

    Zariah this is poignantly written. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have often thought the same thing about the hating on Android phones.

  2. echoiceman

    Ms. Taylor – you’re one of very few voices that see the classism that bothers me so much. When it’s done best, technology unites and levels the playing field. Apple has done so much to resist that and Apple fanboys are complicit.

  3. T'Yon Leach

    Very well-written post: it’s a little refreshing to see that the anecdotes you’ve listed is something that a lot of us Android users experience on a daily basis. Despite the fact that the word “Android” itself encompasses an operating system that thousands of different phones, from thousands of different OEM’s use: I find it funny that people often think of Androids as low-budget, obsolete devices when there are devices with specs and features that iPhone’s don’t even have yet or are in the process of getting (USB Type C, hole-punch selfie cameras, popup selfie cameras, high-refresh rate screens, multi-tasking modes, and the mere freedom of tweaking your OS or downloading an app from a 3rd party appstore if its unavailable on the Google Playstore, ect).

    Personally, I believe that iPhones have become a sort of status symbol: a luxury item with an OS which sacrifices user freedom for absolute control but with outstanding practicality.

    Whereas Android devices are for everyone: you have a plethora of devices that operate at different price-points from budget devices with great specs, to flagship killer mid-rangers, to high-end devices like Samsung. User experience generally depends on the individual and whether they prefer practical minimalist designs or otherwise.

  4. Jonathan

    Well written, and it offers good insight on how a lot of people feel. Though I must be getting past the age where what phone I use matters. No one in my circle really cares. I used Android for 9 years, and yes it was mostly because I was too poor to afford an iPhone. I never particularly loved Android, at least the cheap ones I was always stuck with. Admittedly I’ve broke a few out of frustration for freezing and locking up on me. But I did always love the open source nature of the software, being built off Linux. It’s very similar to windows as well with all you can do with it. But once I could afford it I finally bought an iPhone. And frankly I won’t go back. For me it’s about getting value for the money I spend, and iPhone has that in spades. Long term updates (iPhone 6s is getting iOS 15 for instance), over all design and build quality (sleek and minimalist), software optimization, and the eco system. Everything Apple just works, from the time you take it out of the box, and will continue to do so until you are done with it. And then, whoever you sell it to will get years of use out of it. Plus resell value stays pretty high. Their devices pay for themselves, thanks to sheer years of service you get. Also Apple is a lot more serious about privacy, though google is catching up. Not saying that iPhones are perfect, but they are usually at least one generation ahead of what Android is doing in terms of power. An iPhone 12 with the A14 Bionic, and 6gb of RAM will out perform a galaxy with the latest snap dragon, with 12-16GB of Ram. It’s all in apple’s tight control over design. Anyways hope my insight helps. I say just use what you like, as for me I’ll take my iPhone XR, and Apple Watch any day lol