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Student Research Guide WQ23/ Apple and the Smartphone Market

By Timothy Scammel

Major Findings/Takeaways From This Research

Key Takeaways


How has Apple obtained materials for their products and approached manufacturing?

  • Apple's ways of obtaining resources and materials is very unethical, they could do much better if they cared about more than just profits.
  • Apple's approach to manufacturing their products in China is morally disheartening. Apple could truly make the world a better place, but instead they choose more profits.


How has Apple abused their platform for their benefit?

  • Apple has used their platform or ecosystem to gain even more popularity.
  • Apple uses their popularity of their platform to justify a steep tax for app developers to be in there app store.


What strategies has Apple used to make the iPhone the most popular smartphone?

  • Apple makes sure that Android users and Apple users have a less good experience when communicating with each other to make Apple even more popular.
  • Apple could change this in an instant but they want to create the feeling of exclusivity for iPhone users so that more consumers will want to join the "club."
  • Apple could fix this in an instant, but they don't want to.
  • Apple users are the ones who are inconvenience by Android and Apple IOS user interactions, but iPhone users blame the Android users even though it is Apple's doing.


Was Steve Jobs a great man or a jerk?

  • Jerk.
  • Jobs was not the hero you would imagine him to be.

Research Advice and Reflection

Advice for future researchers:

One tip I have for looking for sources about how Apple isn't the best is: I would often have trouble looking for sources in the SVC databases so I would go on Google and find sources from what I knew were already reliable sources (such as The New York Times) and copy and paste the title of the article in the SVC one-search to find it.

Another tip I have for finding sources: I would search up big events in Apple's past (such as the Foxconn reports from around 2012) to find some of the less favorable things Apple has done in the past to reveal more about the company's goals and positions, and then research that.

Some advice for researching overall would be: That in researching you are going to get stuck a lot, so you're going to have to get creative. There's no space for banging your head against the wall and trying something that didn't work repeatedly. As the great Einstein once said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" (Einstein). Try something new and see if that works, and if it does try more strategies like that.


Reflection on research experience:

I'm going to do this like a Q&A

  1. How did it go?
    • It went well I think, I started with a slightly different subject and had to pivot, but then I got to write/research about what I really wanted to write and research about; Why Apple should not be as celebrated as they are.
  2. Where did you get hung up?
    • I got stuck on research quite a bit. I think finding the video was the hardest part because there were not a lot of options with a creative commons license. But luckily after a lot of searches I was able to find a couple.
  3. What was the best  (most interesting or exciting to you) part?
    • I think the most interesting part to me was learning about how Apple has used the "green bubble" to heavily influence consumers. I find it so funny that Apple users are the one inconvenienced (which is Apple's doing) and yet many iPhone users socially shun Android users.
  4. How did your interest in the topic change after investigating it more closely?
    • I already did not like Apple very much, but only because I had heard some things about their manufacturing and knew something was up with the "green bubble" situation. But the more I read the more disheartened I felt about what Apple was doing to "Change the world." Apple continues to do unethical and manipulative things, and consumers continue to buy their products and rave about them not realizing what goes on behind the scenes.
  5. Include any other personal reflections about your research that you'd like to share
    • Before doing this paper and guide I was a very weak researcher and now I feel more prepared than ever to do research on whatever I might have to research. I think I'm a way more competent researcher now than before this quarter. Getting stuck consistently really taught me to problem solve and find a new way to get the source I was after, or pivot and find different information.



Additional Important Video

This video shows some insights and interesting thoughts on big companies. The speaker talks about how big companies are toying around with consumers and their emotions.

Warning: Video contains explicit language

All Content CC-BY.