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Interest in Apple's iPhone reaches record high among teens

Apple has achieved a record 17 percent iPhone market share among teens, a new survey has found, with an additional 37 percent of respondents indicating interest in buying an iPhone in the next 6 months.

The 21st bi-annual Piper Jaffray teen survey of 4,500 high school students found that Apple continues to dominate the teen market and has driven surprisingly quick adoption of tablets by teens.

"Apple's dominance in the mobile and online music markets is going seemingly unchecked, coupled with rising interest in the iPhone and iPad," the survey concluded.


The percentage of teens who own the iPhone jumped from 14 percent in October of last year to 17 percent this spring. The number of teens who plan on buying an iPhone in the next 6 months rose from 33 percent last fall to 37 percent this spring. According to Piper Jaffray, intent to buy has historically translated into subsequent market share gains.

"Interest among teens in purchasing an iPhone has grown steadily since Apple introduced the iPhone, and we expect this to continue," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noted.


The Spring 2011 survey marked the first time that Piper Jaffray included a tablet category. The percentage of teens who already own a tablet stood at a surprising 22 percent, while an additional 20 percent of teens indicated plans to purchase a tablet in the next 6 months.

Though the survey did not specifically ask students which brand of tablet they owned, Munster viewed the data as a positive for Apple "given the iPad's dominant position in the tablet market."

Last month, the IDC revealed that the iPad represented 73 percent of tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 83 percent of the tablet market for the entire year.

Portable Music Players

The percentage of students with a portable media player (PMP) declined from 90 percent to 80 percent over the past six months as students continued the trend of using their phones to listen to music. Spring 2011 marked the lowest percentage of MP3 player ownership among teens since fall 2007.

Despite the decrease in MP3 player, Apple continued to dominate the market. The Cupertino, Calif., iPod maker's share of the teen MP3 player market rose from 78 percent in fall 2010 to 86 percent this spring.

PJC Teen survey

Online music

Apple's share of the paid music download market continued to approach saturation at 95 percent, though the majority of teens used free peer-to-peer networks to download music illegally. 65 percent of respondents admitted to using P2P to download music for free.

PJC Teen survey

"With the addition of new features to iTunes software and the Ping social network we believe Apple is well-positioned to hold its lead and even extend it," said Munster, adding that the App Store may be driving music sales for Apple as teens search for free apps in the App Store and then purchase music in the iTunes Music Store.