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Apple losing 'cool' among teens, says marketing group

updated 12:24 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2013

Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy phones gain appeal

Apple is losing popularity amongst American teenagers, claims youth-targeted marketing agency the Buzz Marketing Group. "Teens are telling us Apple is done," BMG's Tina Wells remarks to Forbes. "Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older [Millennials], but I don't think they are connecting with Millennial kids. [They're] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy."

Forbes also cites several other teen marketing surveys, in which Apple either remained static or dropped several spots. A Smarty Pants poll still shows 67 percent of rich teenagers wanting an iPhone as their next phone upgrade, but Samsung is in second place at 22 percent -- unusually high considering Apple's once overwhelming dominance in teen preferences.

Wells suggests that several factors have hurt Apple's popularity. As Apple has encountered glitches in some of its products, other companies have filled in the gap with innovative products that are frequently cheaper. Samsung has also been spending millions of dollars on marketing campaigns which portray the iPhone as a device for parents and late adopters, and phones like the Galaxy S III as the "next big thing." A recurring theme in Samsung ads has been the absurdity of waiting in line for a smartphone, something which still happens with every iPhone launch.

Conversely however, Wells argues that Apple can reclaim momentum. "Everything moves in cycles and you can't rest on your past glory. You've got to evolve to maintain relevance. Apple just needs to focus on innovation and teens will come back," she says.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    "[They're] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy."

    Haha, nice one. Surface tablets, sure. They're crazy about them. Absolutely.
    Having said that, I have no trouble believing that Apple's image in that demographic is currently fading. Consumer infatuation, especially in that age group, isn't a long-term thing, so it's natural to go up and down. Looking forward to whatever Apple is cooking up to counter that.

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-00

    Who knows for sure? but..

    My kids are in that age group and they, and their friends, are still into Apple products. The problem is price so it depends how you ask them. For example my son wants an iPad like mine but is settling for a Kindle fire at $170 and that is what he will say he "wants" but it's not what he rally wants.

    I haven't heard anyone in that age group say they want a Microsoft product when given the option of something else.

  1. mgpalma

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-27-00


    I love 'research studies.' Judging by my kids friends and just looking around the mall I find very little evidence to support this ridiculous conclusion, but whatever. I doubt Apple is blind or ignorant to 'the current trends.'

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-08


    I've never heard these Android type statements. I think ti depends on HOW the question is framed, so how come we never actually see what the survey question is?

    And the previous poster is right... you can be sure Apple is keeping its hand on the pulse and what with all the machinations Samsung is willing to spend money on, it's hard to know whether the "fix" was in.

  1. Sosa

    Senior User

    Joined: 02-08-02

    Apple Losing Cool Status?

    With so many people now owning Apple devices, I'm sure it is no longer as cool to own one for some people as it once was. However among the teenagers in my family it remains extremely popular.

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by mgpalmaView Post

    I love 'research studies.' Judging by my kids friends and just looking around the mall I find very little evidence to support this ridiculous conclusion, but whatever. I doubt Apple is blind or ignorant to 'the current trends.'

    Gotta love ridiculous logic, too.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-21-10

    LOL. Surface? Galaxy? Once the kiddies get past the My First iPad Clone and My First iPhone Clone "rebellious youth" stage, they'll go with Apple. But really, the original BMG story smells like a clumsy astroturfing attempt by Microsoft and/or Samsung. Or by BMG if they're either shorting AAPL or driving it down as much as possible before buying after the FYQ1 earnings call.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    It is disappointing that Forbes would quote such a patently lying and/or paid off person such as BMG's Tina Wells: "[They’re] all about Surface tablets/laptops..."

    The Surface RT has nothing going for it in a crowed field of very good tablets. Few have been sold so it is unlikely every teen's friend has one, and I do not believe Microsoft has directed its marketing at the teenybopper set. No way.

    And there still is no Surface Pro and won't be for weeks. The idea that teens are "...all about Surface tablets/laptops..." is clearly a fabrication from Ms. Wells. Maybe she seeks a marketing contract from monkey boy; it is his kind of hyperbole.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Originally Posted by NewsPosterView Post

    Apple is losing popularity amongst American teenagers

    Is this really a surprise to anyone??

    What is considered 'in' and what's 'out' changes all the time. Like all other fads, the iCraze will pass.

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: 05-13-01

    Teenagers are "into" surface tablets? This research was bought and paid for by Steve Ballmer and everybody knows it. This is too funny for words. This is milk coming out of my nose funny. :lol:

  1. saoir

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-10-13

    Yawwwwwn ... Smacks of Buzz trying to energise it's client base and pitching for business from Apple competition.....

  1. glideslope

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 03-15-02

    Time for Generation K-6. If they can test that high. :thumbsup:

  1. macjohn555

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-10-13

    You know it's bogus when they say Surface is cool

    If you just look at the social media, kids still very much want iProducts. I would follow the money trail on this. Maybe samsung/microsoft funded this study?

  1. will-am-tell

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-10-13

    bye,bye Apple.

    Having worked for Apple for ten years.
    It's sad and true that Apple was just a fad, since Mr.Jobs passed away.
    In one of our closed circuit meetings, Mr Jobs told us that we would never "rest on our laurels"., And they have.
    He also told us that we would never Cannibalize each others departments,like iPhone and iPod and of course the mini and the iPad all look very similar. And they have.
    The whole reason he created the iPhone was, He hated the stylus!!. And now Apple is getting ready to patten one.!
    Apple was the forerunner, the leader, the inventor.and now the follower.Looks like they have dropped the ball many times.Such as the "tiles" that other phones are utilizing. The "Surface" was right under their noses.And now the new kid on the block.
    WOW.....Apple what happened to you??
    Did you lose sight of Mr.Jobs vision? were you asleep in the meetings.?.
    So sad to see a man's hard work go down the toilet.
    Tim Cook Should either quit or look for another Jobs out there.
    "Here's To The Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the
    square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have
    no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
    About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the
    human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
    Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who DO
    Looks like the "Status-quo" has made way into Apple, With your college know-it-all kids looking to use Apple as just a stepping stone.
    Is it ok now?, that you have "let-go" of the people that continued to have the same vision of Apple.
    Good luck to the employees that actually cared of Apple and what Apple was.I hope you all find good jobs.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Okay first: will-am-tell, you're not an Apple employee. With writing like that you'd have never passed the first interview. Nice try, troll.

    Second: the idea that teens (generally) are into the Surface is the most blatantly bought-and-paid-for thing I have heard come out of someone's mouth who wasn't a member of Congress. Let's look at the sales figures on the Surface ...

    ... okay, no, teens are not into the Surface. So much for that.

    The Galaxy S III isn't a bad product, I'm sure lots of people like it. Too bad it's already "out of date" with the arrival of the S IV in March. Ah well.

    What bothers me most about this study (other than it was bought and paid for by Apple's competitors, quite obviously) is that it paints all teenagers as superficial zombies incapable of liking anything that's not cool. That's not how I remember my own teen years, or that of my peers. Yes, one tends to be influenced more by hype and trends when you are younger, but you do still appreciate when something turns out to be a really solid product, good value for money or just generally excellent.

    Apple doesn't have a monopoly on that, but they do CONTINUE to make sweet and awesome stuff. The iPad and iPad mini were THE hot gifts this year, and the iPod Touch continues to dominate the mobile gaming scene, and the iPhone continues to (very obviously) sell to teens and other groups. In short, this "study" is so full of carp that it is simply laughable on its face.

    I look forward to seeing all those Surface tablets in the wild that I haven't yet seen. Hopefully with lots of choreographed throwing them around. :D

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post

    Okay first: will-am-tell, you're not an Apple employee. With writing like that you'd have never passed the first interview. Nice try, troll.

    Kernel of truth and all that, I'm guessing sales drone, fired after the contractual trial period was up.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    FWIW, I'm seeing kids' reactions to the iDevices as Apple being Cool in the same way a Mercedes or a BMW is "cool" — sort of out-of-my-league cool.

    Samsung is indeed where it's at, but purely because it's the solution affordable within their horizon. One of my students flipped when her uncle gave her his hand-me-down iPod touch.

    The Apple stuff is still the gold standard.

  1. will-am-tell

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-10-13

    Troll,.??...really??..Look Fan-boy!..or cyber bully!..keep your name calling to your self just like your moma taught you!.
    I'm GLAD that you had an adult read this for you!.kudos to that adult.Just because you live in your parents basement and you hate the world.Never mind the fact that your in your late 40's...
    Be a little nicer, Because one day when your in the real world (up the stairs from your basement) and you talk like this.Expect to get punched in your fat mouth.
    Yes I did work for Apple for ten years in Manufacturing,Logistics,then Service center.Finally left for personal reason a pea brain like you could never understand.Unless an ADULT can explain it to you during story time.
    Just be a nicer lil troll...ok..??

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    anyone miss me yet?? ahh no need.... maybe next round.

  1. abnyc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-28-00

    This is wanna-be astroturf

    This article isn't even astro-turfing, it's wanna be ...

  1. PJL500

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-18-11

    McApple gets boring eventually....

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    McApple.... lovin it!!! stay crApple, POOPertino. HAHA

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