The iPhone theory

Kevin Kilroy
2 min readApr 24, 2021


In reference to Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so spoilers below…

Several iPhones on a desk
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

… but some people theorized the reveal about Sharon Carter based on the phone that she was using, and I just want to point out that while in this case, the theory appears to have been correct, the reverse of the iPhone stipulation is not necessarily true (unless there’s something else related to those contracts that I don’t know about).

The theory is based on an interview with Rian Johnson which revealed that Apple doesn’t allow villains to use Apple products. It’s possible this isn’t even the case anymore, but a lot of people have taken this to mean that if you see a character using an Android phone, that tells you that they’re a villain, or at least on the wrong side of things.

The thing is that it doesn’t necessarily tell you that. It only tells you the following:

  • If you see a character using Apple products, they’re not villains.
  • If you see a character using non-Apple products rather than Apple products, they could be a villain.

The crucial stipulation is that villains can’t use Apple products, not that everyone who isn’t a villain must use Apple products. In other words, it doesn’t tell you who the villains are; it only tells you who can’t be a villain.

Anyway, that’s a stupid contract stipulation, but it doesn’t tell us as much as people seem to think it does.



Kevin Kilroy

Poet and doctoral candidate in rhetoric and writing studies. Erstwhile drummer. Papa to two kitties.