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iPhone vs car. No brainer? Apparently not according to data from the US, which shows 46 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 would take internet access over access to a car of their own.

The data, compiled by technology researcher Gartner, reveals the importance young people place on social networking and being connected digitally, and the decreased importance of the physical mobility and freedom a car brings. In contrast, baby boomers placed much more importance on cars, with just 15 per cent saying they valued the internet more than their car.

Gartner lead automotive analyst Thilo Koslowski told the New York Times the freedom and liberation allowed by smartphones and social networking sites were the equivalent of having a driver’s licence in years gone by. “The iPhone is the Ford Mustang of today,” Koslowski said. “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.”

So how do car makers get kids out of Apple stores and into their showrooms?

Ford senior technical leader of open innovation K. Venkatesh Prasad said the answer was to make cars more like smartphones – creating an “experience” rather than just a mode of transport.

Features like touchscreens, voice-to-text services and music hard drives are examples of cars and smartphones crossing over.

So what’s next? Manufacturers are considering a number of features including automatic social network check-in when you arrive at a destination, in-car cameras to upload and tag images of friends, and music sharing networks between cars.

What’s more important to you: your car or your smartphone? And what tech-inspired features would you like to see in new cars? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • UniversityOfGoogle

    Rhetorical question right?

    Young people = no jobs, no commitments, freeloading off parents, of course an iPhone would be more important to them. Social network = getting laid, cars not so much.

    • Jumbo

      So me. I’m a teenager and work full time earning excellent money for my age. I bought my own car which cost around $40,000 and I live by myself. Never since I have been working at 15 have my parents bought me anything. I still have all of the latest gizmos and gadgets but have done it all by myself.

      • Tiharne

        You bought a 40k car and live by yourself and you’re a teenager? WTF?! You must not live in Sydney.

      • UniversityOfGoogle

        So what you’re saying is you value your $800 iPhone more than your $40k car?

      • Paul

        Yer some times it is nice to dream aye jumbo

      • Nissan

        im curious as to what car you bought for 40k . . .

        • UniversityOfGoogle

          Or how much is “excellent money for my age”


          • Jumbo

            Well to answer all of your questions.
            No I don’t live in Sydney. Far north queensland for me.
            No I don’t value my iPhone more than my car but they do serve two different purposes so I value them for what they do.
            I bought a Civic Type R for $40,000
            And that is my business as to how much money I earn “University of Google”

      • scatman

        Well arent you a good boy, you should be very proud

    • fez192

      Speak for yourself….. you clearly have tunnel vision….. Myself and all my mates have full time jobs and look after ourselves…. so come out from undernearth your rock and see the world around you!

    • Neil

      Cars are still important to some of us, however with the high price of fuel (and the general rule that the younger you are, the less you earn), it’s quite easier to become attached to devices available at a lower average cost.

      iPhone contact over two years = $1500
      Insurance + Rego over two years = $2700

      When you’re working retail between Uni, it’s difficult to justify a car all the time.

      • Rick

        This is not surprising. When I was a teenager cars were a way of social networking , modified cars were seen as an achievement . Not as a eye saw on society , with the road rules and police constantly targeting young people ,especially if they have a nice car, I can understand why they value their iPhone more .

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Catteryguy

      I’ll Take The FPV over the Ipad any time, thanks.

    • ChopstaR87

      you are so wrong… I am 24, earn $75k a year and live in a brand new 4 bedroom house with my girlfriend and own my Car and currently looking at upgrading to an brand new Xr6 turbo/FPV F6. i havent lived with my parents since i was 18. no freeloading here.

      • UniversityOfGoogle

        That’s commendable.

        But I doubt you’d value your iPhone more than your car?

        That’s the point I’m trying to make, is that those who are hardworking and have saved a lot of money and do have some social achievements, would value their car more because it is more important as a function of daily life (not to mention more costly).

        • Image

          You come to a car news site to expect people come here (and comment) who don’t give a rats about car. GET OUTTA TOWN!

    • SkinnyMan

      back in my day….

  • Tommy

    2k to 3k can buy you a good car nowadays.

    • David

      Rubbish. 2-3k gets you a 20 year old bomb. To get a decent car in Australia you need to spend around 10k.

      • Rick

        And that attitude is one of the reasons kids today don’t care about their cars , my first car was a 1965 valiant ute which I still have today , I worked every day after school and at nights and weekends to get it and spent every cent I earned on fixing/modifying it . And don’t regret it for one second . I was happy to have a car and didn’t care what it was instead of expecting a 10k car as my first I was just happy to have a car of my own. some kids today are just spoilt

        • UniversityOfGoogle


          Who said anything about parents forking out the cash for a first car.

          If you spend $3k or $10k, its still your money you’re spending.

          Parents would be doing their kids more harm than good buying them a $10k car outright. The kids who are intent on wrapping their cars around tree trunks would do so regardless of how much the cars cost.

        • Dave S

          That is all part of the ‘first car’ experience. getting an older car and enjoying the experience, including the ups and downs. My first car was 10 years old and had it for around 4 years – great first car. Aussie made too.

        • David

          Great story Rick. Care factory = 0. It has nothing to do with my comment. I was simply disagreeing with Tommy and stating that 2-3k gets you rubbish in this country, whereas in the UK or the US, you could probably get a decent 5 year old car for that price (in both of those countries, a 7-year-old car is considered quite old). I actually did a search on Carsales and found that of cars less than 10 years of age, only a couple of percent are priced below 5k. But hey, if you don’t mind owning a car from an era when Vanilla Ice was huge, by all means go for it.

  • Snoop

    Get off your high horse, have shower and get outside for some fresh air.
    You’re all over the shop with you comments.
    Bit angry are we?
    Since when was this article about young bludgers who wrap their cars around tree trunks?
    Read the article again.
    Times do change.

    • UniversityOfGoogle

      Who said I was responding to the article?

      It’s a reply to a poster, I think you can join me on that lesson to learn to read 😉

  • Snoop

    That may be but you’re still going off the subject. Even with your reply to the poster.
    Not all young people/drivers are rat bags.
    New tech plays a big part in today’s society, young and old.
    That’s why I take study’s or survey’s with a grain of salt.

  • Mark

    I am 26, metallurgist , earning $90000 a year, but I love my iPhone as much as a decent car, I have a outlander, love it.
    But when I was 20 back in uni, I would appreciate a good laptop or mp3 rather than a EVO or Suburu, I totally understand what this article trying to say.

    • Frostie

      You’re not supposed to love a phone. I have a Windows Phone 7. I tried living for a week without it.

      No problem

      I felt disadvantaged because it has features that I require on a daily basis. But that’s it!

  • Technofreak

    My car has to have Bluetooth so I can connect my iPhone to listen to music and use the phone. Does that count?

  • Commentator

    I like my iPad for it’s simplicity, and I like my interiors not cluttered with unnecessary gadgets and distractions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435885244 Yani Hendriawan

    maybe they have crap cars and don’t know how to drive properly

  • Commentator

    I can see why young people value their new gadgets more, because unless a person owns a quality brand new modern car, their car will always look and feel outdated compared to an innovative new gadget.

  • A-train

    Where was this survey done? The surveyor spoke to the new York times so can we assume it was done in New York City? If so, no surprises there.

  • AJAX

    It’s an unfortunate trend. I’m a teenager,and I can tell you that,most people in my age group don’t give a rats about their cats. When I told people that I drove manual, they called me an idiot and questioned why my parents didn’t fork out to get a new,automatic car. Fact is, I’m a motorsport fan,since I was young. Old habits die hard. That’s why I was so eager to drive, and why I love cars. Unfortunately, my fellow generation fails to appreciate the beauty of a car; they drive to get from A to B, I drive to satisfy myself. And we are now looking to buy a new car,but we are sharing the cost of it, me and my parents.

  • Martin V.

    iPhones are junk. I’d take the car and keep my current superior Android phone.