U.S. Teens Want An iPhone For Their Next Smartphone

Teens strongly prefer iOS for their next smartphone purchase, according to data from Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual report on teen consumers.

A little under 60 per cent of teens reported that iOS would be the operating system on their next smartphone, while only 21 per cent intended to buy an Android phone.

This corroborates data from comScore last year that found young Americans are increasingly turning to iPhones as their smartphone of choice. 

More than 90 per cent of the teens surveyed expected their next phone to be a smartphone.

For now, teen smartphone penetration lags the U.S. average. As we discuss in our report on teen mobile habits, teen smartphone penetration was 47 per cent among cell owners in September 2012, and 37 per cent overall. Meanwhile, smartphone penetration was 51 per cent among U.S. cell owners of all ages in September, according to comScore

However, a cautionary note: while teens may have their own purchase intentions, very few have their own income. The vast majority still depend on parents’ largesse and may end up with a cheaper Android phone even if they intended to get an iPhone.

Furthermore, Piper Jaffray’s study is actually a combination of two surveys that skew towards higher income households: one polled 1,600 “upper-income students” from households with income above $84,000, and another surveyed 3,600 “average-income students” from households with an average income of $55,000 (U.S. median income was $50,054 in 2011).

We know from other data that U.S. teens from low-income households, defined as those with incomes lower than $30,000 a year, have relatively high rates of smartphone ownership, second only those of teens in households earning $75,000 or more. In other words, low-income teens may comprise a larger proportion of future smartphone purchasers than Piper Jaffray accounts for.

Click here to view a larger version of this chart. 

Teen Smartphone Purchase Intentions

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