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.
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.
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.