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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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  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.