Is The IPhone The Ford Mustang Of Today For Teenagers?
Before smart phones took over the world, the car symbolized freedom and if that car was a Ford Mustang then you were golden. I don’t see many teenagers turning down a Ford Mustang, let alone any car that may give them that ticket to ride. Now smart phones have taken over the average teenager as they are quick to update their status and get away via cell phone. Smart Phones may have taken over that role, putting the car in the back seat.
“Mobile devices, gadgets and the Internet are becoming must-have lifestyle products that convey status. In that sense these devices offer a degree of freedom and social reach that previously only the automobile offered.”
Garner auto analyst Thilo Koslowski stated the above and went as far as to say that
The iPhone is the Ford Mustang of today.
Statistics from the Department of Transportation from 1978 show that 50 percent of 16-year-olds in the United States landed their first driver’s license. In 2008, that number drops 30%. Ford Motor Company’s manager of global consumer trends and futuring, Sheryl Connelly, agreed with this saying:
“The car used to be the signal of adulthood, of freedom… Now the signal into adulthood for teenagers is the smartphone.”
Connelly goes on to explain that driving takes time away from updating statuses on social sites and texting, while public transportation would give them more time to play around with their mobile devices. No need to worry that apple is going to put Ford out of business, Ford’s senior technical leader of open innovation, K. Venkatesh Prasad, responds,
“We are not looking at this to ask how we can get teens to buy a car versus an iPhone. Instead, the car has to become more than just a car. It has to become an experience.”
This just means that Ford may have to open up more ideas to the teenager, making the car smarter while tagging friends in FourSquare, getting text messages read out loud, snapping photos and/or videos from the passenger seat to upload a new photo to Facebook or that new video to YouTube with automatic tagging. That sounds a little (or a lot) scary, right?
The times they are a’changin’!