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Teens more in love with iPhones than ever, survey says

Technically Incorrect: The latest Piper Jaffray survey of teens show that even more own or want iPhones than six months ago, and there's a big increase in Netflix viewing over cable.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Have teens become slightly conservative? Andrew Hoyle/CNET

They're terribly endearing, but what do they really feel?

No, I'm not talking about engineers. I'm talking about teens. Those bumptious, erratic, extreme beings who end up becoming just like us -- and blaming us for it.

Ever half-year, investment bank Piper Jaffray focuses its attention on the one thing teens are most interested in -- themselves.

It then creates a "Taking Stock With Teens" report that offers a picture into their consumerist emotions. The latest has just been published and it's a veritable mine of teenage nuggetry.

Perhaps the most peculiar -- at least it always seems that way to me -- is that teens cannot get enough of the iPhone. You'd have thought that their hormonally rebellious innards would fight hard against the phone that moms, dads, uncles and aunts have.

Instead, this report shows that 67 percent of these teens owned an iPhone -- up from 66 percent six months ago. It also declared that 74 percent of teens intend their next phone to be an iPhone -- a 2 percent rise from March.

You can decide whether these numbers show just how talented Apple is at marketing to the young.

Or you can choose to believe that other phone brands have failed utterly in inspiring the young to wrap their feelings around a new brand. I lean more toward the latter. I fancy that some at Apple marvel at how rivals simply haven't penetrated young skulls with something compelling.

The survey looked at around 9,400 young people, average age 16. Of these, 2,700 were from an upper income group (household income $107,000). The remainder was from a group whose average household income was $52,000. The methodology was classroom visits and electronic surveys.

Talking of electronics and the digital world, the survey found that Instagram is still their favorite social network. It's followed by Twitter, Snapchat and then Facebook. Tumblr and Google+ barely exist in teen minds. (Do they in anyone's?)

Netflix (38 percent) enjoyed a considerable lead over cable (29 percent) as the preferred visual medium. YouTube, however, offers rigorous competition at 21 percent. Almost half of teens said that they just don't need cable anymore.

Video game consoles are still doing well in teen minds. 73 percent of these teens say they'll buy the next generation console or already own one. (This compares with 70 percent in March.)

Piper Jaffray also offered some entertaining highlights about teen lives over the last 15 years. They make two trips to a restaurant for every one they make to a gas station. And male teens spend more on gaming that female teens do on shoes.

I worry that the truth of teens -- if these results are to be believed -- is that they have little rebellion left in their souls.

Their preferred clothing brand is, gosh, Nike. And would you believe that in fourth place came Ralph Lauren?

Somewhere, Johnny Rotten wonders where all the anarchy went to.