Gen Z Loves Apple’s iPhone – Here’s Why…

A staggering 87% of surveyed teens own an iPhone, and 88% confirmed their next phone would also be an Apple product.

In the ever-evolving tech landscape, the preferences of Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) are emerging as significant market drivers. A recent survey by investment bank Piper Sandler revealed telling insights into the tech preferences of 9,193 teens, painting a clear picture of Apple’s dominance among this demographic.

Basically, when Gen Z buy phones, they gravitate towards buying Apple’s iPhones – and by a considerable margin, too.

I’m old enough to remember the old Apple – the Apple before iPhone and iPad and Apple Watch. Back in the mid-to-late-1990s, Apple was in real trouble. It had loads of products that one bought and it was in financial turmoil. 

Jobs’ return to the company in 1997 was its turning point. From 1997 onwards, Apple grew and developed, it became creative again, both with its marketing and its products, culminating in the release of market-changing products like iMac and the iPod

Its transition from failing tech giant to global mega-corporation beloved by Gen Z is perhaps one of the most impressive comebacks of all time, and quite a lot of it is covered in Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson

Apple’s Massive Brand Appeal With Gen Z Unpacked

  • iPhone Dominance:
    • A staggering 87% of surveyed teens own an iPhone, and 88% confirmed their next phone would also be an Apple product.
    • Gen Z, who now compose 34% of all iPhone owners in the U.S., seem to have an unwavering loyalty towards Apple, with a mere 10% favoring Samsung​​.
    • Apple continues to be the go-to choice for everyday consumers, especially in the United States​​.
  • Wealth and Watches:
    • Not just confined to smartphones, Apple also emerged as the top watch brand among teens from wealthier households (average yearly income of $109,670), surpassing traditional names like Casio and Rolex.
  • Payment Preferences:
    • Diving into payment apps, 42% of teens used Apple Pay in the last month, overshadowing Cash App which only saw 27% usage among this demographic.
  • Music Streaming:
    • However, when it comes to music streaming, Spotify steals the limelight with 70% of the respondents having used the platform in the last six months, leaving Apple Music in the dust.

Why Do Gen Z Love Apple So Much?

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But what is totally unclear, at least from my perspective, is why Gen Z love Apple so much? Why not Samsung? It spends far more than Apple on advertising and marketing and yet only controls 10% of Gen Z with respect to phone usage. 

Google? It doesn’t even get a cursory mention. But the oddest thing, again, from my perspective, is this: Apple’s products are more expensive than all of its competitors. And when I was younger, price was ALWAYS a deciding factor of any purchase. 

It’s expensive, sure. But when you get it, you convince yourself you understand why it costs so much more than other, similar products. I’ve done this with everything from iPhones to AirPods and Mac computers. 

Perhaps it is Apple’s reassuringly expensive prices that attract Gen Z or its simple, yet sophisticated marketing? Either way, there is a certain “aspirational” nature to Apple’s brand that has been in place for as long as I can remember. 

Or the fact that it sells “experience” not product, as noted by Heroes of Digital – a point I definitely agree with:

Apple doesn’t sell products. They sell experiences.

They constantly reinforce how easy and enjoyable it is to use their products, how their software is beautifully designed for the best user experience, how their hardware is beautifully designed so it feels cool to own a Mac. They don’t talk a lot about the technical aspects of the product.

They talk about experiences. And it’s not only about the product. Apple is also well known for outstanding customer service. They consistently rank top for customer service in the industry. All these contribute to the ultimate Apple experience. When you buy an Apple product, you feel good about it.

You have a great experience.

Opening my first MacBook when I was at college, after working a full summer to buy it, felt like a special moment. Could I have worked less, had way more fun that summer and gotten something cheaper? Of course. But I’d convinced myself, after years of toiling with cheap Windows PCs, that a MacBook would solve all my problems. 

And you know what? It kind of did. I ran that MacBook for close to 10 years and I never had a problem with it. 

Additional insights into Gen Z’s tech tendencies reveal how this generation is shaping market trends:

  • Gen Z represents a massive chunk of tech-savvy consumers, accounting for 40% of all consumers in the US.
  • A whopping 98% of Gen Z individuals own a smartphone, underlining their deep-rooted affinity for tech.
  • Their impact extends beyond just consumer preferences; Gen Z is anticipated to constitute 27% of the workforce by 2025, inevitably influencing workplace tech adoption.

As Gen Z continues to mature and command a larger share of the consumer base, tech companies will likely tailor their offerings to meet the preferences and expectations of this influential demographic​. And out of all of the current tech brands operating to day, Apple is easily the most well positioned for continued growth.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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