iPhones should be for old people

So the post from Wednesday started a little discussion but I wanted to highlight this comment from Jacky Zee in an attempt to kick off some more. The assumption in the HTC discussion was that Apple and HTC should be targeting a younger, ‘hipper’ crowd. And the evidence suggests that there is no real basis to HTC’s claim that Apple is doing otherwise.

But that leads to the question: is it really obvious that the iPhone should try to be ‘cool’ and to be cool via association with who its customers are?

One of my favourite games, that I have done ever since I got an iPhone back in 2007, is to hand the iPhone for an elderly person and, without instructions, say “call me.” Now you have to realise that normal mobile phones are a big pain to use. This trick of mine has always succeeded. The largest reaction comes when they phone keypad comes up and it is remarked how big the buttons are (hence, the salience of the previous comment). My current record is someone aged 95.

Can you think of reasons why Apple might target customers outside the observationally ‘cool’ set (for example, the very elderly or the very young)? Should it? What are the trade-offs?

[An initial ‘like’ from me for the first person to reference Abercrombie and Fitch]