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Survey: iPhone loyalty among US teens is strong and keeps getting stronger

Published Oct 22nd, 2018 5:02PM EDT
Teen iPhone ownership survey
Image: Bare Cases

If you ask a typical American teen what kind of handset they’re most likely to buy next, it’s pretty much no contest whatsoever. The vast majority, according to Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey, are planning to buy an iPhone. Which for many of them will be an iPhone “again,” since that’s also the brand most of them already have – and have been sticking with. Android phones? Only around 10 percent of American teens said they’re planning to spring for one of those.

Among the other interesting takeaways from the teen-focused survey: Of around 8,500 respondents, 82 percent said they own an iPhone. That’s the highest percentage the survey has ever recorded. Also, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson, the iPhone has room to become even more coveted by teens. The survey shows that 86 percent of US teens anticipate their next phone being one of Apple’s. That’s also the highest percentage recorded by the survey, up from 84 percent in the spring of this year.

Is Apple losing its mojo, as you frequently hear the tech press pontificate? It certainly doesn’t look like it, judging from the preferences of teenagers for whom coolness is a highly prized commodity. There’s also a knock-on effect at work here. Some of the commentary today around the survey results suggest that the iPhone’s popularity among teens is likewise boosting the allure of the Apple Watch among that same demographic.

Per Business Insider, relying on the data, Apple Watch is now second only to Rolex when ranked by the watch brand consumers prefer. And almost 20 percent of teens surveyed say it’s their favorite.

The survey results were drawn from responses from teens across 48 states with an average age of 16. Respondents were slightly skewed male — 56 percent, versus 44 percent being female teens. Also, the average household income of respondents was a little more than $68,000.

BI notes that while Apple has been a dominant smartphone brand among teens for the past five years, Piper Jaffray says that the proportion of teens who intend to purchase a new iPhone is the highest it’s ever seen.

“Overall, we view the survey data as a sign that Apple’s place as the dominant device brand among teens remains intact,” Olson and Yung Kim, another Piper Jaffray analyst, wrote.

Another insight from the Piper Jaffray data, which you can see in the chart below, is how the gap is closing and almost nonexistent anymore between the phone brand US teens currently have versus the one they say they’ll buy next. They buy an iPhone, in other words, and then stick with it.

Image source: Piper Jaffray

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Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.