IPhone as the Social Status Marker

The development of new technologies progresses at a considerable speed. Every six months, the issued devices become outdated, giving way to new models and developments. As the modern society evolves and mutates particularly quickly, the products of new technologies, particularly the mobile technologies became available to almost all sections of society in a short time. Nowadays, the mobile phone has an increasingly important social significance. It has become one of the most characteristic attributes of modern people, especially residents of metropolises. The mobile phone becomes a real example of the opportunities of mobile technology, providing remote contact aimed at maintaining communications in social communities on an everyday basis. The telephonization of society, the new potentials of mobile communication, as well as the ability to stay connected and get information, has a direct and significant impact on society in general and the behavior of particular individuals.

The aforementioned means that the modern world functions in the new circumstances of social life, influenced by factors of social differentiation and integration. Along with the structural transformation of the main factors associated with changes in the socio-economic system, new factors occur, causing changes in the social identity of people, their value orientations, consumer behavior, and symbolic world. This subjective formation of social stratification as a significant and necessary component of the image and style of life needs to be investigated.

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The emergence of the iPhone in the mobile market made a splash not only among consumers but also among manufacturers of other mobile devices. The updated mobile devices at one time captured the hearts of customers, and have become one of the best selling handsets in the mobile market. However, the popularity of the iPhone did not come from nothing. The updated interface, sensitive display and the stylish design of the phone had been created to win the hearts of the customers around the world.

Krusell company has estimated the number of accessories for electronic devices sold in 2012 and, on the basis of this data, provided the rate of mobile phone popularity. Krusell’s Top 10 was based on the demand for accessories for portable electronics (David). The compiled top-10 list has the high level of reliability and reflects the average popularity of a particular phone model. According to Krusell’s rating, the iPhone produced by Apple Inc. received the first place for the volume of consumer demand.

Nowadays, the iPhone has become a symbol of belonging to the high social level. The social status implies the structural element of social organization, which appears to the individual as the position in the system of the social relations. It means that the social structure can be represented as the complex system of interconnected social statuses, which determine an individual as the member of the society. Social status has an internal and external content side of manifestations. The content side of the social status is characterized the social position, and the set of rights, duties, privileges at office etc. The external manifestations of the social status of the individual require the adherence to the norms of behavior which correspond to the given social status.

Being hierarchical in nature, every society has created its own system of markers that allow to determine the social status of the person on the basis of the visual contact. In fact, there is a great variety of such social markers. First of all, the abovementioned markers refer to the clothes, i.e. its material, particular breed, or just different clothes for different social strata. The second series of the social markers can be roughly defined as a tattoo. In primitive times the tattoo combined the functions of not only the passport, but autobiography. A third group of social markers imply the possession of the formed objects . The presence or absence of the particular object points to differentiate the members of the society. Nowadays, iPhone is the formed object that determines the high social status of its user. It proves that the owner of the device has enough financial resources to purchase the device itself as well as the software for its appropriate usage (Owen).

In fact, the idea to print directly on the display was originally invented not for phones. Initially, this development was for tablets, and the Apple Inc. needed six months to bring it to life. This was an important step to create the iPhone. Steve Jobs decided to postpone the project on the tablet after it had been implemented inertial scrolling. Since then, Apple put its efforts into creating the unique phone.

The aforementioned proves that the iPhone is a sign of social status (Gikas). It is casual, easy demonstrable symbol of the achieved success. It allows the owner to realize not only the need for mobile communication that sticks out in declarative advertisements of mobile communication systems, but also to show both verbal and kinesthetic aggression towards the opponent. The incredible speed of technological progress makes make iPhone as a marker for the modern social life.

However, it should be mentioned that, according to the data provided by the research made by Apple Inc., the social status of iPhone owners is quite average. It turns out that the most people who buy this handset are the costumers with an average income of 25 to 50 thousand dollars a year. The share of this customers is 48%. People with profits of 50 to 75 thousand dollars a year are 46%. Only 16% of iPhone 3G owners receive annually more than $100,000.

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The name iPhone was invented back in 1999. The prefix ‘i’ was added due to the popularity of other products of the company. At MacWorld exhibition on January 9, 2007 the iPhone was first shown to the world. On June 29, 2007, the iPhone was put on sale. The model with 4 GB of internal memory cost $499, and an 8 GB model cost $599 (Ellen). As expected, the iPhone was able to combine the multimedia capabilities and features of a unique phone. For a short time iPhone was not only able to find a devoted customer, but also became as a cult thing. Steve Jobs has proved that he was able not only to win the segment of the market, but also to create the revolutionary product.

Recently, U.S. market analysts have conducted studies regarding the popularity of the most expensive brands in the world. Apple products ranked second, than showed the excellent results. However, according to recent studies of brand preferences conducted by Harris Interactive, Apple Inc. moved into first place in the category of games, technology, and telecommunications. Among American youth iPhone, iPad and iPod enjoys great popularity. It even can be said that Apple Inc. forms the new generation of fans loyal to their brand.

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