It’s definitely not a stretch to say that just about every teen in the United States – probably around the world at this point – owns an iPod. As a matter of fact, according to a recent survey prepared by Piper Jaffray, a leading polling corporation, iPods are quickly nearing the saturation levels of the consumer base, a fact that Apple is now trying to make happen with their new iPhone business. Analyst Gene Muster, who works for Piper Jaffray, commented that the most critical component of growth in the long term is the teenagers and that Apple’s aggressive approach to digital music in the mobile markets – and the mobile market in general – is the right one.
Piper Jaffray has been releasing their bi-annual Teen Survey for eight years now, visiting high schools around the United States and asking the students about what they like as far as their interests go and what they’ve bought in the portable digital media player industry over the last six months to a year. They also survey the students about their online music habits and whether or not they have or want one of Apple’s new iPhones. 600 students were polled for the first survey of 2009 that averaged in age 16 years old. 54 percent of the students were male with the other 46 percent of them female.
Over 92 percent of the students answered that they did indeed own some form of digital music player, with 86 percent of them owning an Apple iPod of some style. This is a 2 percent increase in ownership of iPods since 2008’s fall survey. When they were asked whether or not they would consider purchasing a new digital media player – such as the Apple iPhone – in the next year, the answers were surprising. Only 19 percent of the polled students stated that they would go out and buy a new player and this number is a decline from the 28% reported last year. That 19 percent however did say that they would purchase an iPod if they bought a new device within the next year, showing that Apple holds dominance in the digital music player market.
iPhones are also starting to come into their own in the mobile media market with the teenagers and according to the fall survey in 2008, 8 percent of the students polled owned an iPhone and 22 percent said they would buy one within six months. However, the iPhone predictions have also declined with the 2009 survey. Only 16 percent stated that they would purchase an iPhone. One of the issues here is the expensive data plans that teens want on their phones, and Apple is considering releasing a version that has fewer features and more data space for less expensive plans. Usage of iTunes to download music is still up and the prices are still comparable and affordable to teens.
With the market becoming quickly saturated with iPods and iPhones – and the economy being less than ideal – many parents and teenagers are turning to iPod repair companies when their phones and music players go on the fritz. The cost of repairing the device – which usually only requires a system reset more times than not – is still less than purchasing a new one. Plus iPod companies overhaul entire systems and make them brand new, selling them on places like eBay for a fraction of the cost. As long as prices continue to remain higher than most teens can afford on both the iPod and the iPhone, the better iPod repair companies are going to be.