Teens Love iPhone and Apple Watch But Aren’t So Fond of Apple Music and Apple TV+

Young Adults and Teenagers Using Phones Credit: Creatista / Shutterstock
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While the iPhone and the Apple Watch continue to be fantastically popular with teens in the United States, Apple’s services, such as Apple Music and Apple TV+, are lagging behind their competitors for members of that group.

According to Piper Sandler’s biannual teen survey, 85 percent of US teens surveyed currently own an iPhone, and 86 percent plan to buy an iPhone when they purchase their next smartphone.

Even though the iPhone continues to lead the pack as the most popular smartphone among US teens, ownership among the group has slipped slightly, down from Piper Sandler’s October 2023 survey which showed that 87 percent of teens owned an iPhone and 88 percent had plans to purchase one when it was time.

Both the 85% iPhone ownership and 86% intention to purchase an iPhone metrics are near record highs for our survey but down from record levels in 2021. We believe the elevated penetration and purchase intention are important given the mature premium smartphone market. Additionally, trends towards premium tier phones are encouraging as the company continues to introduce new iPhones proving the overall stickiness of the product portfolio. Finally, positive trends in services could follow, as the install base for Apple hardware continues to grow.

Unfortunately, the iPhone’s supremacy in the teen market is one of the metrics that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is using to target Apple in its antitrust lawsuit.

The DoJ claims Apple’s dominance in the US smartphone market has led to “social stigma, exclusion, and blame” toward Android users due to the “green bubble” chat issue between iPhone and Android users. In group chats, Android users stand out with green text bubbles, while iPhone users show blue bubbles in the same conversations. This causes “social pressure” among teens to make the move to an iPhone.

The DoJ also claims Apple’s popularity among “key demographics” like “younger audiences” gives Apple a monopoly in the smartphone market.

Of the teens surveyed, 34 percent reported owning an Apple Watch, a share that remained the same from last fall. The number of teens planning on buying an Apple Watch increased by three percent, and 13 percent of teens have plans to purchase one in the next six months. A mere 39.4 percent of teens surveyed own a smartwatch, meaning teens prefer the Apple Watch over other smartwatch brands. As for the top watch overall, the Apple Watch was the top watch brand, with Rolex and Casio taking second and third place, respectively.

Now for the bad news for Apple: The company’s services don’t do nearly as well as its devices among US teens. Close to two-thirds of teens replied that Spotify is their preferred music streaming service, while just a bit more than 30 percent of teens said they used Apple Music.

As for Apple TV+, less than five percent of teens surveyed said they watch Apple’s streaming service on a daily basis. Comparatively, over 30 percent of teens watch Netflix on a daily basis, and nearly 30 percent watch YouTube.

While Apple Pay proved to be popular among survey respondents, with 44 percent of US teens having used it in the last month, teens prefer Cash app and Venmo for sending and receiving money among their peer group.

Piper Sandler surveyed 6,020 teens in 47 US states to compile its spring 2024 report.

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