The war between iOS and Android now has a particularly bizarre battle that involves the blue bubbles and the green bubbles. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, those are the colors of messages on an iPhone that indicate whether the sender is also using an iOS device, or if they're on Android or some other platform.
If you're a part of that latter group, Samsung now has your back. The company created a Giphy page with a series of responses you can use to show you won't be shamed over your smartphone choice. It even launched a social-media campaign using the hashtag #greendontcare.
I admit, when I receive a message that is inside a green bubble, my first thought is Wait, there are people who don't use iPhones? Of course, I already know that, but honestly, I just don't think about it that much. That's mostly because, based on my rough analysis, probably 90 percent of the people I communicate with are iPhone users. (Reports put the number of Android users at 2.5 billion; I just don't know that many, apparently.)
Still, I had no idea non-iPhone users were so anxious that their messages show up with a big green indicator, making them feel they aren't a "part of the club."
I'm trying to decide if Samsung's response is brilliant, or a sign of a massive inferiority complex. Sure, the whole thing is supposed to be lighthearted and humorous, but it's also a bit strange considering many of the GIFs are actually kind of violent and feel like the way a kid who has been bullied might respond to the big mean bad guy.
Also, people who don't care wouldn't spend this much time telling you they don't care, which has me leaning toward "inferiority complex."
As a brand, here's why this is so difficult. How you respond to something like this says a lot about who you are, and reinforces what people already think about you. If the signal from an iPhone user is that you aren't a part of their club, responding with one of these GIFs isn't exactly going to change that impression.
And Samsung isn't actually the underdog here. Despite the iPhone being an iconic device, Samsung makes and sells far more smartphones globally than Apple. And Android, which runs on Samsung devices, has an enormous lead in market share compared to Apple's iOS. Why is Samsung spending so much time worrying about the little guy?
OK, no one will ever call Apple--the first trillion dollar company--the little guy.
I have to give Samsung credit--it's making it easy for customers to embrace something that has long been meant to shame them. It shows a sense of humor, and in that sense, you could argue that it is a playful attempt to create the type of community that already exists among iPhone users. If that's the case, maybe it's at least a little brilliant.