Customers check out the new Apple iPhone 5 at a store in Rome. (Andreas Solaro / AFP /Getty…)
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% of teens said they owned an iPhone. By the fall of 2011 that number had grown to 23%. In the spring of 2012, just six months ago, the number was at 34%.
"We are reaffirmed that Apple remains the preeminent technology brand for teens," Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, wrote in the report.
Before you get all self-righteous about how spoiled kids are today, consider that the report does not get into what 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 Passing along a working but outdated iPhone to a teenager is the perfect justification for a parent to go out and get a new phone.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% in spring 2012 to 44% in fall 2012 -- and 72% 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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