Apple has once again won the “cool factor” with teen iPhone owners now nearly triple ( 8 percent versus 3 percent) compared to a year ago. The Piper Jaffray survey also revealed 22 percent of teens say they plan to buy the Apple handset – up from just 9 percent in 2007.
Other good news for Apple: 84 percent of MP3 players purchased by teens were iPods. Microsoft’s Zune came in a distant second, capturing just 3 percent of the teen marketshare.
Apple’s iTunes music download service now has 93 percent of the market. That’s up from 79 percent uncovered a year ago.
Although 60 percent of music still comes from file-sharing, that number is four percent less than a year ago, when 64 percent of teens said they turn to peer-to-peer services for music. Online music sales appear to have gained from that shift.
“This is essentially an untapped market for legal download services like Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic and Amazon,” Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Murphy told Cult of Mac.
The buying decisions of teens are an important leading indicator for consumer electronics firms, Murphy said.
“It is clear that Apple’s got the ‘cool factor’ among teens. This gives them an advantage in the teen demographic, where brands are paramount,” Murphy said by e-mail.
Although growth in the MP3 market appears to be slowing, Murphy has upped his estimate for iPod sales to 56.3 million in fiscal 2009, an increased from the 54.8 million expected for this year.
The survey of 769 high school teenagers was conducted “over the last several weeks,” according to Piper Jaffray.