Study reveals that nearly half of US teens now own an iPhone

Study reveals that nearly half of US teens now own an iPhone

Summary: The Apple iPhone finally launches on T-Mobile this week and recent Piper Jaffray study results show the iPhone is owned by nearly half of US teens.


A couple of years ago, BlackBerry devices were the most popular for teens with BBM and low-cost data options helping that popularity. As shared data plans appeared, older-generation iPhones dropped significantly in price, and people left BBM to join iMessage. The Apple iPhone moved in and now dominates the teen landscape. According to the latest Piper Jaffray study, 48 percent of teens now own an iPhone, with 62 percent planning on making one their next mobile device.

Study reveals that nearly half of US teens now own an iPhone
(Image: Apple)

T-Mobile is rolling out its first official iPhone this week, and with a younger demographic customer base than other carriers, the timing seems to be just about perfect. I've read people stating that they are concerned about the no-subsidy strategy, but hopefully the teens will do the simple math that adults refuse to do and see that T-Mobile's strategy is cheaper than going with a subsidized phone and hidden payment plan.

My 16-year-old daughter saved up money from working as a soccer referee and bought her own iPhone 4 to use on T-Mobile last year, and my oldest is getting an iPhone 5 for her 19th birthday. The appeal for both of them was to combine their iPod and phone experience into one and use services such as Instagram, Vine, and Twitter. They don't use Facebook much anymore, which HTC and Facebook may not like to hear.

In 2012, the Piper Jaffray study results of 7,700 teens showed that 40 percent had an iPhone, with 62 percent planning to buy one. It looks like the 62 figure is fairly consistent, and that plans don't always work out. We did see an 8 percent increase over 2012, though, so there is still significant growth in the teen market.

With teens buying iPhones and family plans that make it less expensive to own one, the smartphone market looks solid for Apple as these teens then move into adulthood. I have an iPhone 5 and find myself using it more and more lately thanks in large part to the apps, the compact size, and the Verizon long-term evolution (LTE) network I use it with.

While we smartphone enthusiasts may think iOS on the iPhone is a bit boring compared to fresh looks on Windows Phone, Android, and BlackBerry 10, the sales indicate that it isn't a problem for Apple.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones

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  • Haha

    Haha this is so not true, you use your own kids to back up your story. I don't have kids but I do have siblings that are under 18 and they all have Android phones and are learning that with Android they can go wild with customization. They never liked the iPhone not because it cost a lot but because they see adult using them. It's not cool to look like your parents, kids like to be different.
    • Wow

      Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
    • Ha ha.. You use you one siblings for a datapoint.

      Haha this is so not true, you use your own brothers and sisters to back up your story. You need to open your eyes and look outside your small little family. Tons and tons and tons of kids (as in high-school) are using iPhones. What I find really funny is all the kids I see with an Android handset using an iPod to listen to music.
    • I see a lot of teenagers

      with hand-me-down iPhones and common with broken screens and not paying to get them fixed.
      • so?

        An hand-me-down iPhone is still a iPhone. Or does it suddenly turn into something else?

        These teens still do dream to have an new iPhone.
        • So what has....

          ...iPhone and Justin Bieber in common?

          Hype and lack of critical thinking perhaps...
  • This isnt too much of a stretch

    I love Android or anything Linux, so sue me. It appears here that I-phone carrying parents are purchasing the same type of smartphone or passing down their older device to their children and purchasing up grades for the adults. My children have android tablets and android phones. Depends on the house hold I dont like the android I phone argument it really just sells more units anyway you slice it when it comes to consumers arguing over a product. From the business it would be nice to see the break down of teens that are on a new device and what platform its on, I feel it would paint a better picture here. I imagine android using teens is close if not more then the I-phone. Checking hand me down devices verse's new would have made more sense here not just painting in a corner stone for Apple business.
    • android using teens...

      I tend to travel a lot and it always surprises me that in almost all countries, the type of phone you see in teens' hands is either an iPhone or a Samsung. Or an Symbian Nokia. Almost nothing else. (ok, plenty of older Blackberry in Africa)

      It is also amazing how many iPhones teens carry, especially in countries like China, where these are way harder to get than elsewhere. Sometimes I wonder if these aren't fakes :)
  • So much for that Cnet article last month

    The one saying teenagers think iPhone is uncool.
  • And you wonder

    why we are so far behind in education.
  • Bought an iPhone to use on T-Mobile last year

    Did T-Mobile support the iPhone last year?
    • Yes. But you had to make it work

      You had to get an unlocked phone and put a SIM card in the phone.
      • That sounds way too difficult

        for an iPhone user
  • Sounds about right

    From what I see at my highschool. Though, I wouldn't say it's has high has 70%, more along the lines of 60%. Samsung's S3 are popular here has well.
  • You need a strong will to buy an iPhone or Windows phone.

    All the network outlets are pushing Android down everyone's throat plus you can get an Android phone a lot cheaper. I wonder how many people have gone into a store to buy an iPhone and came out with an Android product because a salesperson talked them into it.
  • So they have more money than brains........

    big deal....
    • Feeling a little defensive are we?

      Why do you care what phone someone else buys? Is your self-esteem so low that you can only feel vindicated as a human being by other people making the same buying decisions you do?
    • Envious?

      That someone can afford an iPhone, but you cannot justify it?

      It's an phone after all -- let people chose what they like. However "dumb" that choice is in your apparently not so humble opinion. It's their money, not yours.
  • It figures: teens still like toys, and iPhones come with lots of games,

    so, the new "enterprise players" for Apple, are the teenagers. ;)
    • In the end

      Apple sells, the other "smarter" vendors, not so much.

      At least, coming with a lot of games is not illegal. :)