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Apple iPhone Remains Teens’ Preferred Mobile Device

Teens, teenagers, Generation Z, preferences

The Apple iPhone is reportedly on track to remain the mobile device of choice of nearly nine in 10 teens. 

Eighty-seven percent of teens own an iPhone and 88% of teens expect to have one as their next mobile device, investment bank Piper Sandler Companies said in a Tuesday (Oct. 10) press release

Reporting on a variety of data about teen preferences and spending, the release and an accompanying list of key findings also identified some other devices and technology that are preferred among this group. 

TikTok remains teens’ favorite social media platform, having improved its standing by 80 basis points (bps) since the spring. Snap and Instagram are ranked second and third, respectively. 

CashApp is teens’ most preferred peer-to-peer money transfer app, at 50%, followed by Venmo at 36%. 

Other favorites of teens, ranked No. 1 in their category, are PayPal’s “Pay in 4” among buy now, pay later (BNPL) options; Apple Pay among payment apps; and Amazon among eCommerce sites. 

More teens own virtual reality (VR) devices, but they are using them less. Thirty-one percent of teens now own a VR device — up from 29% in the spring — but their weekly usage of the devices has dropped to 10% from 14% during that time. 

Among the shopping channel preferences of teens, off-price and online-only eTailers have made gains since fall 2022, while specialty, discount and outlet channels have seen drops over that period. 

For customer service interactions, the mobile device remains the No. 1 method, and text/SMS is gaining share. 

In terms of overall spending, the release said that teen “self-reported” spending was down 1% year over year – the first such decline in spending that this group has reported since before the pandemic. In addition, inflation is teens’ No. 2 social concern, cited by 9%. 

“Our survey points to initial signs of a slowdown in teen spending,” Edward Yruma, senior research analyst at Piper Sandler, said in the release. “Inflation reached its higher mindshare in terms of political and social issues, right behind the environment.” 

Among those looking to boost their share of teen spending is Venmo, which launched the Venmo Teen Account in May. This account is designed to enable parents and legal guardians to open a Venmo account for teens, who can then learn how to engage with money responsibly.