17% of U.S. teens would pay $350 for an Apple iWatch – survey

April 9, 2014, 1:44 AM UTC
“American Teenager” movie poster

FORTUNE — Before anyone gets too excited about the results of the teen survey Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster released Tuesday, the numbers need to be put in some kind of socioeconomic context.

For one thing, American teenagers tend to be richer — a lot richer — than teenagers in the rest of the world. For another, the sample of roughly 7,500 American teens Piper Jaffray polled tends to come from middle and upper-middle class families. Inner-city teens don’t go the kinds of high schools Gene Munster visits.

Still, these teenagers’ interest in Apple (AAPL) products — and their loyalty to the brand — is impressive.

A few data points:

  • 61% of teens surveyed own an iPhone, up from 55% just six months ago.
  • 67% expect their next phone to be an iPhone. Google (GOOG) Android phones were No. 2 at 24%.
  • 60% own a tablet, and 66% of those tablets are iPads (down 2 percentage points from last fall).
  • Of the 18% who plan to buy a tablet (or, more likely, ask their parents for one), 66% plan to get an iPad.

But most striking is what these teens had to say about a category that’s just getting started and a product that, as far as we know, doesn’t even exist. As Munster puts it in headline form: “Teens show interest in iWatch.”

“According to our survey of ~7,500 teens across the US,” he writes, “about 6% of teens currently own a smartwatch. We view this number as slightly higher than expected given the relative lack of smartwatches on the market. Additionally, 17% of teens suggested they would purchase an iWatch if Apple were to launch it for $350.”

That’s pretty impressive, given that no teenager I know even wears a watch.

Based in part on these results, Munster expects Apple to ship 5 million to 10 million iWatches in the first full year of sales.

Below: The results of this survey and four that preceded it.

Click to enlarge.