Apple 2.0

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Survey: 8% of U.S. teens own an iPhone; 22% want one

October 8, 2008: 7:19 AM ET

Today's economic crisis doesn't seem to have reached the 769 high school students polled in Piper Jaffray's 16th bi-annual survey of teenage buying patterns and preferences.

The survey, conducted at several apparently well-heeled high schools in the United States over the past few weeks -- while the global financial markets were melting down -- focused on MP3 players, online music and Apple's (AAPL) iPhone.

The results, released late Tuesday, may say more about the demographics of the population Piper Jaffray is testing than the buying power of most U.S. teenagers, but they will be music to Steve Jobs's ears. According to senior research analyst Gene Munster, who directed the study:

  • 8% own iPhones, up from from 6% in Spring 2008.
  • 22% of students surveyed expect to buy an iPhone in the next 6 months, up from 9% in Spring 2008.
  • Of students expecting to buy a mobile phone, 33% specified an iPhone.
  • iPod market share rose to 84% from 82% in Fall 2007.
  • Of the 40% of students who legally purchase music online, 93% said they use iTunes (up from 79% in Fall 2007).

Below: Details from the iPhone portion of the survey.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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