Despite attempts from other smartphone manufacturers to paint the iPhone as a boring product that's more suited for your boring parents than cool, hip you - teens continue to want the Apple phone. How much, you ask? According to Piper Jaffray's semi-annual survey on teens and their phones, 40% of them own iPhones.
While 40% is an impressive figure, considering that iPhones only make up a few entries in an ecosystem full of smartphones - it becomes even more impressive when you look at that figure as a comparison to the last year. Back in the Spring of 2011, 17% of teens reported owning an iPhone (in the same survey). And the last time this survey was taken, in the Spring of 2012, 34% of teens owned an iPhone.
That's a market growth of 135% in just a year and a half.
The Piper Jaffray survey (which included over 7,700 teens) also found that 62% of all respondents said they plan on purchasing an iPhone in the next six months. Only 22% said they plan on buying an Android phone.
One common marketing strategy used by Apple competitors is to paint the iPhone as unhip, uncool, and the phones of teens' parents. Look no further than an ad from Samsung that's still running in a national market. You know the one, right? People are standing in line for the new iPhone 5 and someone is playing with a Galaxy S3.
"Welcome back," says another guy in line. "Guess that Galaxy S3 didn't work out."
"No, I love the GS3," he replies. "It's extremely awesome. I'm just saving a spot in line for someone."
And bam - his parents show up. And that's a common theme - that young people should not think iPhones are cool anymore. This has been a trend for over a year now. Take for instance last year, right before the launch of the iPhone 4S, HTC President Martin Fitcher dropped this gem:
"I brought my daughter back to college — she’s down in Portland at Reed — and I talked to a few of the kids on her floor. And none of them has an iPhone because they told me: ‘My dad has an iPhone.’ There’s an interesting thing that’s going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was. They were carrying HTCs. They were carrying Samsungs. They were even carrying some Chinese manufacture’s devices. If you look at a college campus, Mac Book Airs are cool. iPhones are not that cool anymore. We here are using iPhones, but our kids don’t find them that cool anymore.”
And a couple of months later, a Nokia product manager said that "youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones. Everyone has the iPhone." He also referred to iPhone as "black mono boxes" in a "sea of sameness."
If that were the case, we'd expect to see iPhone adoption among teens drop or at least flatline - not grow 135% in 18 months. And this survey doesn't even take into account the iPhone 5, as it has been on the shelves for less than a month.
"We are reaffirmed in our belief that Apple remains the pre-eminent technology brand for teens,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
The survey also looked at tablet adoption. 44% of teens surveys owned a tablet, and out of those 72% owned an iPad. Not only that, but 74% said they plan on buying an iPad in the next six months and 43% said they would buy a "smaller iPad" if the price point was to be below $300. Hello, iPad Mini.[Image courtesy Photo Giddy, Flickr]