Teen Interest in iPhone Remains High, Apple Watch is Most Popular Smart Watch

Teen interest in Apple’s iPhone continues to grow, according to data gathered by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in the latest semiannual teen survey. 69 percent of teens surveyed own iPhones, up from 67 percent in the Fall 2015 survey. 75 percent of teens queried expect their next device to be an iPhone, up one percent from the previous survey.teeniphoneownership-800x421.jpg

Smart watches are not as popular among teens as smartphones, and only 12 percent of those surveyed owned a smart watch. With teen smart watch owners, the Apple Watch was the model most often chosen — of the 12 percent of teens who own a smart watch, 71 percent are Apple Watches. Just 10 percent of teens say they’re interested in purchasing a smart watch, a number that’s grown just two percent since fall of 2015.

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We would expect the Apple Watch to maintain market share close to that of iPhone, but don’t expect major changes in interest until stronger use cases emerge. We continue to view CY17 as the potential breakout year for Apple Watch.
When considering the full range of wearables, the Fitbit was the most preferred brand among teens, with 72 percent surveyed choosing the Fitbit. Nike came in second at 12 percent, and interest in the Apple Watch was at six percent. Wearables are growing in popularity, with 22 percent of females and 18 percent of males surveyed owning a fitness tracker, up from 14 and 12 percent, respectively, in the previous survey.

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Tablet interest and ownership among teens in Munster’s annual survey has been steadily declining. 59 percent of teens own a tablet, down from 61 percent, and just 13 percent of teens who do not own a tablet plan to buy one in the next six months. Still, the iPad remains the most popular tablet among teens. Of those who own a tablet, 64 percent have an iPad.

Interest in the iPad has grown among teens who plan to buy a tablet, however, which may be attributed to the launch of Apple’s 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros. When surveyed, 63 percent of the 13 percent of non-tablet owners planning to buy one said they would choose an iPad, up from 58 percent in the fall.

iPhone adoption among teens may see growth in the fall, with the release of the iPhone 7, a major upgrade that’s expected to bring significant new features like a dual camera on the Plus model and minor design refinements. Apple Watch growth may remain stagnant, as recent rumors have suggested the second-generation update will be relatively minor in scale. Interest in the iPad may see a continuing decline as Apple does not have any significant product changes in the works, having just released the iPad Pro models in late 2015 and early 2016.

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