Survey: 17% of U.S. teens own iPhones

April 6, 2011, 11:03 AM UTC

And a record 37% expect to buy one — or get their parents to — in the next 6 months

Source: Piper Jaffray. Chart: PED

In the spring of 2009, Piper Jaffray’s biannual survey of American teenagers reported that 8% already owned iPhones and 16% planned to buy one in the next six months. Half a year later, when the PJC surveyors went back out into the field, the teens had made good their word: 15% now owned iPhones and 22% expected to buy one.

It doesn’t always work out so neatly; by the spring of 2010, teenage iPhone ownership had somehow dropped a point, even as interest in the device soared. But over time, as Gene Munster puts it in his summary of the latest teen survey results, released Tuesday, “historical data shows (sic) that the intent to buy translates into share gains.”

Which is why it’s significant that interest in Apple’s (AAPL) mobile products among this key demographic for future growth has never been higher. Among the findings in PJC’s spring 2011 survey:

  • 17% of the 4,500 teenagers surveyed already owned iPhones
  • 37% expected to buy one in the next six months
  • 22% owned a tablet computer (or had one in the house)
  • 20% expected to buy a one (note that 83% of tablets purchased in 2010 were iPads)
  • Apple’s share of the MP3-player market rose to 86% vs. 78% six months ago
  • If the percentage of kids who listen to music on iPod-type devices fell to 80%, its lowest level since 2007, that’s only because 53% now listen on their cell phones.

Below: The Piper Jaffray spreadsheets (click to enlarge).

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]