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Apple dominates the teen vote, but...

Teenagers just love their Apple gear as the iPhone and iPod widen their lead among this fickle set.According to a Piper Jaffray report Apple is dominating teenagers' buying patterns.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Teenagers just love their Apple gear as the iPhone and iPod widen their lead among this fickle set.

According to a Piper Jaffray report Apple is dominating teenagers' buying patterns.

The high level details of a survey of 769 teens:

  • 22 percent of students surveyed expect to buy an iPhone in the next six months;
  • 8 percent own an iPhone, up from 6 percent in the spring;
  • Of students planning to buy a mobile phone 33 percent specified an iPhone;
  • The iPod has an 84 percent market share among teens with iTunes checking in a 93 percent.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster uses this teen data point as a reason to maintain his $250 price target:

We believe that the teen demographic is a critical component of long-term growth in the digital music and mobile markets, and Apple is clearly strong in both categories.

No argument here. But I do have one question that may upend this survey. Teens depend on parents to foot the bill. When mom's portfolio is collapsing, the 401(k) is a 101(k) and the return on your house is nil at best are you really going to go gaga for the iPhone and its relatively pricey AT&T data plan?

Perhaps parents will cave. Or perhaps data plans get chopped for those pay-as-you-go phones.

This thesis isn't all that much of a stretch given that teen retailers are taking it on the chin. Are the iPhone and the latest iPod lineup fashion accessories or necessities like food and water? The teen will likely fall in the necessity camp. Parents will beg to differ.

Also see: The Apple Core

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