Teen Interest in Apple Watch Drops Ahead of Launch, iPhone Remains Popular

Apple Watch demand among U.S. teens remains relatively low even as the device's launch approaches, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster's latest semiannual teen survey, which asked approximately 6,200 teens in the United States about their device usage habits and future buying plans.

Only 11 percent of teenagers surveyed plan on purchasing an Apple Watch, down from 16 percent in the fall survey. Of those 11 percent, the top reason teens cited for wanting an Apple Watch was style, followed by design. Only five percent of teens currently own a smart watch.

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We believe the lower purchase intent reflects a wait and see approach to the Watch as it seems unclear what will be the "killer app" for the Watch. We expect teens to be a good market for the Apple Watch given the popularity of the iPhone, but believe it will take time for influencers (celebrities) to make the watch popular among teens.

Though teens don't yet seem to be interested in the Apple Watch, the iPhone and the iPad remain the most popular smartphone and tablet among teenagers. 66 percent of teenagers surveyed owned an iPhone, down slightly from 67 percent in the fall survey, while 64 percent owned an iPad, compared to 66 percent in fall of 2014.

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72 percent of teens expect their next smartphone purchase will be an iPhone, while 60 percent expect their next tablet to be an iPad. Comparatively, interest in smartphones and tablets from other companies remains low. 21 percent of teens expect their next smartphone purchase to be an Android, and 16 percent plan to buy an Android tablet. Interest in Windows tablets has grown slightly, however, and 20 percent of teens expect their next tablet purchase to be Windows-based.

Over the last couple of weeks, the Apple Watch has been popping up on the wrists of celebrities like Pharell Williams, Katy Perry, and Drake, as Apple attempts to boost its popularity ahead of the device's April 24 launch. Celebrity endorsements like these along with heavy marketing may lure teens towards the Apple Watch in the coming weeks.

The next teen survey will be published in October, and by that time, it's possible the Apple Watch numbers will shift dramatically if Apple's marketing tactics are successful.

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Top Rated Comments

kitsap2 Avatar
120 months ago
Teens are smarter than I thought.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThisIsNotMe Avatar
120 months ago
72 percent of teens expect their next smartphone purchase will be an iPhone

And then they asked their parents for money and got a bargain basement Android phone/tablet.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Slix Avatar
120 months ago
Maybe interest dropped after launch because they were told by their parents that they wouldn't buy them one. :rolleyes:
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NIKKG Avatar
120 months ago
The watch will probably sell well the firsts couple weeks as the Apple fanatics buy it up, but after that it'll die out like all the other smart watches. Many people just don't wear watches like they used to since the smartphones make them redundant.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omgitsbees Avatar
120 months ago
I don't think the Apple Watch will ever be popular among teens. Do teens even wear accessories? When I was growing up, I don't remember anyone in high school wearing a watch, but smartphones also didn't exist yet when I was in high school, so who knows. But even then, the iphone and the apple watch are very different devices. It's one thing to have your parents buy you a iphone, but I don't think any parents would buy their teen a $350+ watch. And very few teens are going to be able to afford an Apple Watch.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cambookpro Avatar
120 months ago
I don't think the Apple Watch will ever be popular among teens. Do teens even wear accessories? When I was growing up, I don't remember anyone in high school wearing a watch, but smartphones also didn't exist yet when I was in high school, so who knows. But even then, the iphone and the apple watch are very different devices. It's one thing to have your parents buy you a iphone, but I don't think any parents would buy their teen a $350+ watch. And very few teens are going to be able to afford an Apple Watch.

I wear a watch every day (17), and have done since I was 5 or so. I still remember my trip to Argos to pick up my first Velcro-strapped Timex! I loved the way the whole face lit up and wore it everywhere.

I've been putting a little money aside every month for a couple of years now for the Apple Watch, and pleased to be able to order a 42mm Sport with launch window delivery. Very excited here.

Having said that, only my friends who really love technology are interested in the watch, and I still don't know of anyone else my age purchasing one. Others seem ambivalent and were shocked at the price, even for the entry level model.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)