For the last decade, early September has become a second Christmas for technophiles like me. The setting may have been brand new, but it was the same excited fervour as Apple launched their new products in The Steve Jobs Theatre, California on Tuesday. I’m not going to dwell on the intricacy of new features too much (check out http://www.techradar.com/reviews/iphone-x for that), but I will say that the facial recognition and advanced augmented reality features grabbed me: what potential. I have to admit that I raised an eyebrow at the omission of the home button. It’s like removing Lionel Messi from the Barcelona team: of course there’s a functional future without it, but you’re removing an iconic piece of a legendary set up that has been around for 10 years…it will take some getting used to.
I want to focus on what this handset means for our target market: namely kids and youth. Well, I wouldn’t expect to see your average 9 year old clutching an iPhone X any time soon: the device will cost £1,000, so pay monthly contracts will likely see a steep increase. For kids, prohibitively so. But given the popularity of the X and the slightly cheaper iPhone 8, what we can expect to see is the further proliferation of handsets into the kids space as parents upgrade and “old” phones (less than 2 years old in some cases) are distributed amongst the family. This means smartphones go into the hands of progressively younger children. As a result, tech literacy, app downloads and social media activity expand. Consider for example that over a third of kids aged 3-4 now access YouTube. Advertisers in the kids space need to ensure that their marketing strategy is mobile first – or at least consider how and where their content and message is going to be consumed. How can we engage our audience through this ever more intrinsic online gateway?
Will I be investing in an iPhone X? It’s futuristic, it’s exciting, it’s stupendously expensive. Of course I will.
Martin Doyle, Head of Digital