Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple Cool? 11 Teens Weigh In

11 NYC teens are disillusioned with Apple, but they still buy its products.

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Jun 28 2017, 11:00am

Image: Emma Griffith

Motherboard staff is exploring the cultural, political, and social influence of the iPhone for the 10th anniversary of its release. Follow along.

In the coming years, you will be hard-pressed to find a teenager who can remember a time before the iPhone, but that doesn't necessarily mean they like it. The children are our future, as they say, so if Apple and the iPhone are going to survive, the company is going to have to appeal to their sensibilities.

Do teens think Apple is cool? We asked 11 of them to find out.

Daniela Sarantis, 13

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yes. It's sleek and elegant.

What Apple products do you own?
I have an iPhone 7, I have an iPad Mini that I don't use that much, and yeah.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
It's kind of like a design company because sometimes their functionality isn't spot on, but they look nice.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
Declining. For sure. My headphone jack has disappeared, so sometimes I want to watch Netflix or listen to music and charge my phone and I can't do it anymore. Unless I buy their $200 headphones. And they just try and change things because of "courage." My last phone completely glitched out after two years of having it but before that it glitched out and I got it replaced at the Apple Store. Then that one had an issue with the headphone jack, and then I got a new one which cracked which wasn't their fault, even though they're very fragile. And then I got the iPhone 7.

Stefania Sarantis, 17

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
No. Well actually yeah. It's the norm, like, everyone has Apple. That's the cool product to have. But do I think their products and the function of them are cool? No. That's a hard no.

What Apple products do you own?
A Macbook Pro, an iPhone 6S, and that's it.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I think Apple is a scam company because they keep making products that like fix—I mean they're very talented and I'm sure they could figure out a way to make Apple products better…because I know that they do this thing where they release a new phone every two years but I've heard that they've designed it, like pre-designed it, so they release it every two years to make money. So I think that they're not a very honest company.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
I mean I don't know how they used to be when they first came out, I've watched movies, but I think they're, from my point of view, declining, because all they care about is money and all these new updates that don't really work. And they've found a way to take hold of the customers and kind of use them as a money machine. That's rude. I hate Apple so much, yet I still use it, because I hate Samsung too.

Sydney Ashton, 15

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yeah, I guess. It's like widespread so it's like easy to connect with people.

What Apple products do you own?
I have an iPhone 6s or something and a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air and an iPod and my family has two iPads and one Mac.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
Am I supposed to like make it sound good or can I roast? I think that it's super popular so it should make it like a good company. Like one that's easy…it's like easy to use, I guess.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
Well, I heard that like after a while they put a bug in your phone so you have to get a new one. So I guess it's improving like technology wise like you have to do less and you get more, but yeah I don't know. It's like…I need a new phone because mine keeps glitching.

Zak Wegweiser, 18

Is Apple cool?
Yes. I think Apple is cool because it's really easy to use, but at the same time it can do a lot. It's really powerful.

What Apple products do you own?
I have the watch, the phone and the computer, and then my family has the iPad.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I think Apple has kind of transformed…. I don't know. I'm kind of conflicted. I would say that it's transformed into more of a capitalistic company, it's just searching for different ways to make money. I don't think that's what they are at heart, but I think that's what they've become.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
It depends how you define improving and declining. If you say money-wise, then I'm not sure, it could be improving. I think consumer-wise it's declining. I've been turned off by a lot of their things. To be honest though I'm kind of already so invested that I can't stop buying it or keeping up to date. I haven't bought any of their new products because of all the crap that they've been doing, but it's like I'm not gonna get rid of all the stuff I have. So from my perspective, I would say they're declining.

Kyra Fox, 14

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yeah, I think Apple is cool because it's innovative. They have cool devices and I get to communicate with my friends through it.

What Apple products do you own?
I own a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, like one of those Nano things, and yeah.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I think Apple is an electronics company.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
I definitely think it's improving, but not by that much. I don't know. Like I definitely think that if you look back at their old electronics, I think that they've definitely improved and gotten better, but I don't know. I think that not much has changed recently. I think throughout, like if you look back, it's definitely changed a lot and they've added new products, but like their software hasn't changed much through the previous years.

Asha Perry, 17

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yeah, I think it's cool because it has advanced technology.

What Apple products do you own?
I have an iPad, an iPod, an iPhone, and an iMac.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I think it's an electronic devices companies. Or entertainment.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
I think it's declining because their products nowadays, they're just kind of getting ridiculous. And you can see, like for example, the new iPhone 7, they changed the design completely and you have to pay so much more money to be able to charge your phone and use it. And to listen to music at the same time. Like they're developing all of these new things and they know that because we're so hungry for something new, we'll buy it. So I think Apple is really money-hungry right now. They're not trying to appeal to us, they're just trying to get our money now.

Sebastian Baker, 16

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yeah, because they make all the cool gadgets.

What Apple products do you own?
Oh my gosh. I own an iPad Mini, a MacBook Air, and an iPhone 6s.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
It's a tech company.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
Declining because they're trying to be too innovative and it's just making the products annoying and less accessible.

Allie Leavitt, 17

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
I guess it's like cool in the sense that people who are wealthy have it and like i guess it's a symbol of like high social class. But I don't think kids are walking around saying like "Yo, you got that Apple bro." Like that doesn't happen. It's not cool in that way. It's not cool because it's the norm.

What Apple products do you own?
I own an iPhone and a computer.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
It's a recreational technology company. I don't know it just seems like one of those big successful greedy companies. Like when I think of Apple I think of companies like Google and other huge companies like that. They make billions of dollars but are just capitalistic, corporate motherfuckers.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
I think it's declining because they just are always trying to think of ways to improve their products to the point where they're just making them worse. Like you don't have to constantly be evolving. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Some of it just seems really stupid and superfluous. Like I mean I have come to like this now, but I don't need to text someone in fucking invisible ink. I just don't need to do that. You know? Like I don't need to text someone on their birthday and balloons don't have to fall from the sky. Like if I say, "happy birthday" they'll get the message.

Omar Hassan Ali-Badia, 14

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yeah, I really like their products. They're really easy to use and overall they're just like a chill company.

What Apple products do you own?
I own the iPhone 6S, I have one of their laptops, I'm not sure I think it's like a MacBook, and I share an iPad with my family.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I mean, I know that like any company they're just like shady lowkey. I don't know how their products are made, but it's probably in a really messed up way. But I mean I still buy their stuff like all the time. They're a technology company, but also like kind of a media company. I mean they got like Apple Music and they got the streaming services, so they're branching out.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
I mean, I wouldn't say they're declining. I would say the competition is increasing. Like it used to be you would just get an iPhone, but now there's a lot more options out there. So, you know, a lot more opportunities for the consumer and I mean potentially less sales for Apple.

Jane Loy, 15

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
Yeah I think they're really advanced and I think they come up with a lot of new products.

What Apple products do you own?
I own an iPhone 6S and a MacBook Pro and an iPad from a while ago.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I guess Apple is progressive. I don't know. Apple is more like thinking into the future. Like they come up with the iPod and all the new technology. They're always the first ones to think of things.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
At first they started off really strong when I was little and then I guess like the past three years their products really haven't changed that much. Other than like size. And you know, it's just like aesthetic-wise they really haven't changed that much. The Apple Watch is cool, but I don't know.

Josh Wiener, 18

Image: Emma Griffith

Is Apple cool?
I don't think Apple is cool in the sense most people do. I think that the products are neat in a way, visually. But in terms of the technology that's actually being used I don't think it's cool.

What Apple products do you own?
Nothing right now. I have a Samsung Galaxy S8+, I have an Asus laptop, and Chromecast for my TV.

What kind of a company do you think Apple is?
I think it's a greedy company that doesn't necessarily care about the quality of the products they make but the amount of money they make, so not customer satisfaction but how much money the company can make off its customers. Apple is more of a money making company than a technology company. It started out with good intentions creating a product that's better for the customer, working to enhance the products they give people. And then it slowly turned into the company that it is now.

Do you think Apple is improving or declining and why?
Declining. I think people are realizing that just because a product has an Apple logo on it doesn't mean it's the best thing in the world, and that there are other companies, not necessarily Samsung, but other companies that make better quality products that are cheaper and easier to use and more durable than an iPhone or a MacBook Pro.

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