Survey: 82% of U.S. teens have an iPhone. 84% want one.

"Apple is still cool," writes Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson.

From a note to clients that landed in my inbox Tuesday:

Apple's share of smartphone ownership increased for the sixth consecutive Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens survey. Of ~6,000 respondents, 82% have an iPhone, the highest percentage we have seen in our survey (up from 78% in Fall-17). The iPhone may have room to move higher with 84% of teens anticipating their next phone to be an iPhone, also the highest ever recorded in our survey (up from 82% in Fall-17). Android was the runner up with 11%, down from the fall. The Apple Watch was the top smartwatch among teens, garnering 15%, with the Samsung Gear next on the list at 2%. About 20% of teens plan to purchase an Apple Watch in the next six months, up from 17% in the fall. Overall, we view the survey data as a sign that Apple's place as the dominant device brand among teens remains intact...

The Apple Watch remained the #1 smartwatch among teens. While 80% of respondents do not own a smart watch (down from 83% in the fall), 15% own an Apple Watch, up from 12%. The Samsung Gear was the runner up with 2% (flat). Purchase intent increased materially with 20% of teens saying they plan on buying an Apple Watch in the next 6 months vs 17% in our Fall-17 survey.

Reiterates Overweight rating and $200 price target.

My take: These are relatively well-heeled teens. Half come from zip codes where the average family income is $100,000. The rest, $55,000.


  1. John Kirk said:
    One of the mistakes that pundits made (and some still continue to make) was to assume that the smartphones would be commoditized and that Apple would lose out to Google in the same way that the Apple Macintosh had lost out to Microsoft Windows. We (and I’ll include myself) made a few mistakes.

    First, Apple’s business model is tailored for a consumer market while Microsoft was tailored for a business model. I didn’t really realize at the time that the computer market was focused on business, not consumers. After all, I and almost everyone I knew owned a personal PC (pardon the redundancy) so obviously the PC was a “duh” personal computer, right?

    Wrong. Looking back now, it’s clear that the PC was really a WC — a work computer. People used them at work and for work and if they got one for home it was mainly to do things that they could later transfer to their work computers

    The customer for a smartphone or a watch or and EarPod, etc, is the end user. The customer for the WC (work computer) is the head of IT or the IT department. They weren’t the end users, they bought computers FOR the end users. And their priorities were very different from those of the end user. While the end user wants integration, ease of use and an intuitive user interface (Apple’s strengths) the IT department is interested in security, bulk purchases, system-wide control and perhaps most of all — low, low cost. All of these things fed directly into Microsoft’s wheelhouse.

    Apple didn’t change their business model. It’s the same today as in was in the 80s. But it was unsuccessful in the 80s and it’s wildly successful today. What changed?

    With the iPhone, Apple changed the nature of the market. Analysts who had spent 20 and 30 years analyzing PCs had a hard time understanding consumer sales. And I count myself among them. I didn’t really understand the nature of premium sales until Apple became the provider of premium smartphones. I thought premium products were a crock or a gimmick — something stupid people paid too much money for because they were, well, stupid.

    If I had just bothered to look around my house and in my garage, I would have realized that I owned very few things that were the lowest cost option. And there’s a reason for this. And it would take a book — not a blog entry — to explain it.

    Suffice it to say that until analysts understand the smartphone is a consumer, not a work, product, and until analysts understand how consumer markets do (and don’t) work, there’s going to continue to be a lot of really, really bad analysis of Apple.

    And reporting and correcting that really bad analysis is exactly why blogs like Apple 3.0 are so valuable.

    April 10, 2018
    • John Butt said:
      As an entrepreneur with a long history of using Apple Mac’s as a business workhorse I think you still misunderstand the difference.
      Microsoft, like Cisco, train IT departments in their OS to the exclusion of any other. That develops a myopic decision process that is based around only ever purchasing products they know how to fix. I had the extreme case when running the tech division of an ISP that was totally dependent on Cisco boxes, I replaced them, reduced staff and increased reliability for a massive reduction in costs while increasing quality.
      I have simply made IT departments redundant in the past (20 years ago) by replacing all PC’s with Mac’s, both increasing productivity and reducing ownership costs.
      The problem is the lack of IT knowledge of executives, who still refuse to understand basic IT principles of buying products that simply work rather than the cheapest that your in-house experts know how to fix when they go wrong.
      Maybe IBM have found the perfect solution too.

      April 10, 2018

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