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In survey, 40% of teens say they own iPhone

By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — IPhone fever is not just an adult affliction. It has trickled down to the younger population as well.

Forty percent of U.S. teenagers now own an iPhone, according to a new survey of 7,700 teens by Piper Jaffray & Co.

And the ranks of these young iPhone owners are growing rapidly.

Back in the spring of 2011, only 17 percent of teens said they owned an iPhone. By the fall of 2011, that number had grown to 23 percent. In the spring of 2012, just six months ago, the number was at 34 percent.

“We are reaffirmed that Apple remains the pre-eminent technology brand for teens,” Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, wrote in the report.

The report does not specify which generation iPhone teens are most likely to have — and that makes a big difference, price-wise.

Now that the iPhone 5 has come out, you can find an iPhone 4S for about $100, and some deals offer an iPhone 4 for free.

There’s also a good chance that many of these teenagers are carrying around Mom and Dad’s old iPhone hand-me-down. Passing along a working but outdated iPhone to a teenager is the perfect justification for a parent to go out and get a new phone.

Piper Jaffray also found that the number of teens who own a tablet computer has jumped from 34 percent in spring 2012 to 44 percent in fall 2012 — and 72 percent of those who do own a tablet own an iPad.

You can bet that number will go up when/if Apple releases the heavily rumored iPad mini that is expected to cost $299.

“Overall, we expect Apple devices to continue to expand in teen ownership, and we believe the company is set up well to benefit from loyalty among its younger user base,” Munster wrote.

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