Why doesn’t Spain love the iPhone?

As Apple celebrates the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, it might be worth pondering why Spain has no love for the acclaimed device. 

The numbers are not flattering. According to research group Kantar, Google Android has a 90 percent market share in Spain with the iPhone falling way behind on 4.3 percent. 

And the numbers have consistently been like that. Statistics firm Tech Thoughts thinks that it’s because the iPhone, and Apple generally, never became a “thing” like they did in other parts of Europe. 

One reason for the disparity is Spain’s grinding experience in the 2007-09 recession. Apple products, and iPhones particularly, are notoriously pricey. They’ve likely not embedded themselves in every day Spanish life because there’s still a high unemployment rate of 18 percent and an even higher rate of 39 percent for youngsters. 

Although costs can be offset with phone contracts, the Spanish are not generally good at advertising discounts save for when you specifically ask for them. Other countries are more inclined to saturate you with the product and the discount in one go, ensuring a hook, line and sinker guarantee for customers. 

And this has no doubt affected how people see themselves in Spain. Where Apple has thrived is by making their users feel part of an evolving family of devices. Or a cult, if you believe the detractors. While the death of Steve Jobs begs the question of what direction the company might have gone in, extremely well synchronised devices and easy set-up, as well as generally intuitive functionality, continue to be why the devices are loved. 

In many ways, the iPhone has become synonymous with the smartphone. It’s a well-earned reputation: Apple was the first to truly popularise the idea of 3,4 even 5-in-1 phone out with the work environment. It changed consumer expectations, and it remains the phone for both now, and while it’s doubtful they’ll latch on in the coming years in Spain, we should all remain interested in their innovations. 

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Alastair Stewart 255 Articles

Alastair Stewart is a freelance writer, journalist, and teacher based in Edinburgh and Almería. He regularly writes about politics, history, and culture for magazines across Europe.


He was formerly a press officer at the Scottish Parliament. He graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in International Relations.


Alastair founded DARROW in 2013 to support new and emerging writing talent in Scotland around the world.

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