Student envy: the iPhone
We recently ran across a great blog entry from Engadget on back-to-school gadgetry. Of specific interest to us were their cell phone recommendations, which they split into categories based on price: “On The Cheap,” “Mid-Range,” and “Money Is No Object.” We were curious how Engadget’s recommendations aligned with the cell phone opinions of the 13,800 Hunchers who say they are students.
Engadget highly recommends iPhones for well-heeled students, and it turns out that Hunchers could hardly agree more: 80% of student Hunchers providing feedback in the cell phone topic say they like the device. But just 15% of student Hunchers (compared to a pretty impressive 22% of all Hunchers) already own an iPhone. So, mom and dad, it’s pretty clear what back-to-school or holiday gift might be especially appreciated this year by the student in your house.
It occurred to us that the disparity between ‘I want it’ and ‘I have it’ may be a price-related trend, but we found other similarly-pricey phones which are disproportionately favored by students. For example, student Hunchers are 30% more likely than the average Huncher to like the LG Renoir, which garnered a respectable 7.9 out of 10 review points by CNET. And the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, which Michael Oryl at MobileBurn calls “A great phone which is intuitive and consistent in the way it works”, is also disproportionately favored by student Hunchers, with more than 50% of those who rated it giving it a thumbs up.
What about that other iPhone alternative, the Palm Pre? Steven Levy at Wired rates it an 8 out of 10 and calls it an “incredible win” for Palm. MobileBurn’s Oryl gives it an incredibly thorough but ultimately mixed review, calling it “good for light users but short of the mark for heavy users.” How do Hunch students weigh in on this debate? It’s actually a close call: in Hunch’s iPhone vs. Palm Pre topic, student Hunchers favor the iPhone by only about a 6% margin. This jibes pretty well with a survey covered by Gizmodo which showed that while iPhone 3GS owners have a near-perfect 99% satisfaction rating with their purchase, the Palm Pre landed a not-too-shabby-at-all 87%.
At the end of the day, with an 80% approval rating, the iPhone probably remains the one to beat among student Hunchers. The great majority want it, but an even greater majority of them don’t yet have it. That may also explain how student Hunchers who favor the iPhone tend to answer “Which one of the seven deadly sins would you be?” The sin most highly correlated with this group? Envy.