Do American teens want AirPods for Christmas?

Well sure. But more than that, according to Piper Jaffray’s annual pre-holiday survey, they want cash, clothes and/or a car.

From “What GenZ wants for the holidays,” excerpted from a 23-page Global Lifestyle Brands report that landed on my desktop Monday:

  • piper jaffray genz 2019Money & Clothing are the top-two wishes for teens for the holiday followed closely by Car.
  • Mentions for a phone took 9% of the vote of which over one-third of the mentions were for an iPhone specifically. Footwear rounded out the top-five with Nike as the most commonly mentioned brand.
  • We are seeing an increasing number of mentions towards “Experiences” and saw teens asking for a trip or vacation with their family on the rise. In fact, if we combined the votes for Travel with Concert Tickets & Sporting Events, “Experiences” would have ranked No. 9—just one vote shy of Video Games in No. 8.

Methodology: we asked teens to name the top items on their wish lists in an unaided, open-response format; we then calculated all mindshare as a percent of the total responses, includes of “N/A” responses. We analyze the Upper-Income segment of our Fall 2019 Taking Stock With Teens data set.

Digging deeper into the Apple numbers:

  • Apple is the top-listed consumer brand for teens at ~10% of the total vote vs. >11% last year.
  • AirPods gained share Y/Y whereas iPhone & Apple Watch lost share; iPad & MacBook mentions were stable
  • Nike followed as the second-most listed brand, however its share more than tripled Y/Y; adidas was stable & lulu was slightly ahead of last year.
  • In general, we saw an influx of Luxury Brands being mentioned—this year, 1.6% of the vote came from specific European luxury brand mentions of which Louis Vuitton was the most commonly sited (0.6% vs. 0.3% last year) followed by Gucci (0.5%). Last year, Luxury Brands represented 1% of the total vote up from 0.3% in 2017. While we recognize these numbers are small, the trend has been nicely increasing.

piper jaffray genz holiday 2019

Click to enlarge.

My take: It’s easy to read too much into an open-ended “what’s on your wishlist?” question.


  1. Jerry W Doyle said:
    I don’t place high value in these surveys. Besides, there is a humongous gap between wishing for something and getting it. The survey would have more meaning if it asked what you plan to get, or what you expect to get.

    The high ranking of “car” surprises me since we hear often that the younger generation today does not place high value in owning a car with all its associated costs. I always suspected that was industry talking heads attempting to move the young generation more toward using the industry companies’ public ride sharing.

    Apple stock price is doing well and will continue to do well going into the Holiday Season because Apple has a great line of new products rolling out this year and next. The company is executing superbly. The economy is good. Folk have jobs and money to spend. Apple’s senior executive team is the best at what it does. Tim Cook has nailed it in cultivating working relationships with this administration so as to have appropriate linkages with the key people for tapping into a network of political resources to benefit Apple. There will be some form of a trade deal that will satisfy the markets no matter all the talk of pessimism surrounding the talks. Trump and the administration will find ways to juice the economy going into next year’s election as Trump is a businessman who understands the need to do so and the how to get it done. Next year will see the roll-out of 5G. Apple will have an all new class of completely redesigned 5G iPhones with a generation of users holding older phones coming on-line needing to upgrade. Apple stock price is poised to power ahead into 2021.

    There is no unexplained anomaly affecting Apple’s stock price needing some mechanism to clarify what is happening. We sometimes get so caught-up in running numbers, digging deep into the weeds looking for some mechanism to explain the stock price rise when the answer is staring us in the face. That is my big complaint about analysts. That also is why they are running hard raising their Apple target prices to catch up where Apple is in the markets and where Apple will be in the markets a year from now.

    Apple will have a good Holiday Season! Laissez les bon temps rouler! Geaux  Geaux .

    November 18, 2019
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    Was out and about yesterday and noticed that shopping center and mall parking lots were quite busy. You had to wait your turn going down aisles cars.

    Didn’t see the same thing at Walmart. ???

    Oh, and saw “Ford vs Ferrari”, a pretty accurate depiction of what happened. Race scenes could have been better. Overall I liked it a lot.

    November 18, 2019

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