During the Aug. 17 through Sept. 16 survey period, iPhone ownership stood at 87% among U.S. teens, according to Piper Sandler. This rose by one percentage point compared to last year, and came in little changed from spring 2021’s record high share of 88%. Meanwhile, 88% of teenagers said their next phone would be an iPhone, also coming in close to a record high of 90% from spring this year.
Apple (AAPL) maintained its position as a leading technology brand for U.S. teenagers this fall, with iPhone ownership holding near an all-time high and the Apple Watch leapfrogging to take the top spot among adolescents for the first time ever, based on data from Piper Sandler’s fall 2021 “Taking Stock with Teens” survey.
Piper Sandler’s report was based on responses taken from 10,000 teens across 44 U.S. states averaging 15.8 years old.
Thirty percent of teens said they owned an Apple Watch during the survey period, up from 25% a year ago. And the overall share of teens with a smartwatch of any kind also increased to 35% this fall from 30% last year.
The results serve as an upbeat assessment of the technology giant’s popularity among young U.S. consumers, especially as the company begins the sales cycle of the latest versions of its iPhone and watches that were unveiled in mid-September.
Apple’s device dominance extended beyond smartphones. The Apple Watch became the No. 1 watch brand in Piper Sandler’s semi-annual survey for the first time, overtaking Rolex as the preferred brand among upper-income teens.
“We view the elevated penetration and intention [as] important for a maturing premium smartphone market,” Piper Sandler managing director Harsh Kumar said in the report. “In addition, these trends are encouraging as the company continues to introduce 5G iPhones, which could provide a significant product cycle refresh.”
“We think these positive trends can also be a catalyst for further services growth as well, as the install base for Apple hardware continues to grow,” Kumar added.
In the services space, Apple has already carved out a solid teen user base in payments. Apple Pay was the second most-used payments method among U.S. teenagers this fall, according to Piper Sandler, with 35% of teens using the platform compared to 32% in the spring. Overall, cash remained the No. 1 payment method among teenagers at 85%.
“While we are somewhat surprised by the cash penetration among teens, we believe it is a function of 35% of teens surveyed not having a traditional bank account,” according to the Piper Sandler report. “We expect as teenagers get older, they will graduate to electronic payments methods such as Apple Pay, PayPal, and others.”