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Teens Continue to have a Strong Affinity for The iPhone, But They are Less Certain About AR/VR Headsets


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The iPhone, manufactured and sold by Apple, remains the most popular smartphone among teenagers in the United States. According to the first 2023 Piper Sandler teen survey results, 87 percent of teens say they own an iPhone.

Teens Continue to have a Strong Affinity for The iPhone, But They are Less Certain About ARVR Heads ets_

Although 88 percent of teens reported that their next smartphone would be an iPhone, the percentage of teens who own an iPhone has remained constant at 87 percent over the past year. The percentage of teenagers who own an iPhone has increased by a factor of more than two in the past ten years. For instance, in 2012, only forty percent of teenagers in the United States reported owning an iPhone.

The percentage of adolescents who own an Apple Watch has increased by four percentage points since the previous fall and now stands at 35%. 15 percent of teenagers surveyed indicated they plan to purchase an Apple Watch within the next half year.

Teens Continue to have a Strong Affinity for The iPhone, But They are Less Certain About ARVR Heads ets_

Apple Pay was the most popular choice among teens for making purchases, with 39 percent reporting using the app within the past month. Cash App came in second place, with 25 percent of teens reporting using the app. However, the Apple Cash option for peer-to-peer money transfers hasn’t taken off as much as the company had hoped. Teenagers favor the Cash App by Square and Venmo by PayPal when sending money to one another.

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Among teenagers, 68.1 percent of respondents claimed to have used Spotify within the most recent six months, making it the most popular music platform among this age group. Only 36.4% of teenagers surveyed said they had used Apple Music in the past half year. 44.3 percent of respondents said that they were paying subscribers to Spotify. In contrast, only 31.5 percent said that they were Apple Music subscribers.

Teens Continue to have a Strong Affinity for The iPhone, But They are Less Certain About ARVR Heads ets_

A virtual reality headset is owned by 29 percent of teens, but only 14 percent of those teens use the device at least once per week, and only 4 percent use it daily. This metric comes when Apple is getting ready to release its AR/VR headset later this year, which will be more expensive than the currently available alternatives.

Sixty-one percent of adolescents who do not currently own a virtual reality headset reported that they had no plans to buy one in the near future. 16 percent of respondents indicated that they had a moderate level of interest and might make a purchase. Comparatively, only seven percent indicated a more serious interest and stated their intent to purchase.

The fact that teenagers seem interested in something other than augmented reality and virtual reality space is not a good sign for Apple’s upcoming headset. Despite this, the rumored price tag of $3,000 for the first iteration does not indicate that it is now geared toward a teenage audience. Despite this, the results of the survey make it abundantly clear that other virtual reality headset options from companies such as Meta have yet to be able to make significant headway with the most important teenage demographic.

Seven percent of the teens surveyed stated that they did not intend to purchase a headset in the near future. Another 52 percent of respondents identified themselves as “unsure or uninterested.”

Piper Sandler has been collecting data from teenagers twice yearly for the better part of a decade now. For each one, surveys are conducted with thousands of adolescents throughout the United States. The spring study from this year includes responses from 5,690 adolescents, with a mean age of 16.2 years.

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