updated 11:24 pm EDT, Tue October 9, 2012
Analyst finds far less enthusiasm for Android
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has again surveyed 7,700 US teenagers and has found that iPhone and iPad ownership among the teen demographic is growing rapidly, with iPhone owners nearly doubling over the last year. The survey had plenty of good news for Apple, as iOS devices remained heavily dominant in the buying plans for those who expected to acquire a new tablet or smartphone in the next six months. The survey showed strong interest in the iPhone and even stronger interest in the iPad, despite the fact that no new model is expected soon.
Some 40 percent of the US teens surveyed owned an iPhone, compared to 34 percent last spring and 23 percent in the year-ago period. Tablets have jumped in popularity as well, rising to 44 percent of teens saying they own one compared to 34 percent six months ago. Out of the 44 percent of teens who own tablets, 72 percent had an iPad -- a figure roughly reflective of the larger tablet market by sales volume in the US. Among those who planned to buy a tablet in the next six months -- 20 percent of respondents -- an even larger majority (74 percent) said it would be an iPad.
Because most teens have already owned one iPhone, by a large majority they said their next smartphone would be one as well: 62 percent compared to just 22 percent who said they would go for an Android phone. Should Apple actually release an "iPad mini," teenagers are likely to be a prime target: when asked if they would consider buying a 7.85-inch iPad with a price tag of $299, almost half (43 percent) of all those who planned on getting a tablet soon -- including those who had indicated they would prefer an Android tablet -- said they would be likely to buy an "iPad mini."
Reports from Asian suppliers allege that Apple is building some 10 million units of the iPad mini to be ready for initial demand, about twice what Amazon expects to ship from its combined Kindle line in the same period. Apple is rumored to be sending out media invitations tomorrow for an event that would presumably unveil such a product.