By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 10, 2007

If the 980 students who participate in Piper Jaffray’s bi-annual survey of American teenage buying patterns are any guide, a significant percentage of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhones sold are ending up in the hands of adolescents.

In a report to clients issued this morning, analysts Gene Munster and Michael Olson report that

  • 3% of students surveyed own iPhones and an additional 9% expect to buy an iPhone in the next 6 months.
  • 4.2% of 212 parents surveyed own iPhones.

Of course, Piper Jaffray’s survey group may not be a fair sample of the broader teen population — and some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that it isn’t. There are roughly 28 million teenagers in the U.S., and it seems unlikely that they account for 840,000 of the 1.1 million iPhones sold so far. It’s far more likely that Piper Jaffray’s sample is tilted heavily toward a tech-savvy, upper-middle-class demographic.

Still, Munster and Olson’s numbers are useful for showing trends, especially in the MP3 market they’ve been tracking for several years.  Their results show that among U.S. teens:

  • iPod market share remained steady at 82%.
  • Interest in buying a portable media player in the next 12 months increased to 47% (up from 42%).
  • Of the 36% of students who legally purchase music online, 79% said they use iTunes (down from 89%).

See chart below the fold.

Source: Piper Jaffray.

[Photo courtesy of intomobile.com.]

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