The Piper Jaffray research group ( has completed its 22nd semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, which indicates improving spending at the upper-income level and continued weakness for average-income teens. And it also bodes well for Apple.

Portable device spending continues to accelerate with 83% of teens reporting that they are likely to purchase a smartphone for their next device, up from 75% last fall and 81% in the spring. iOS gained market share on Android and it is the most desired operating system, with 36% of teens reporting that they are likely to buy an iOS device.

Thirty-eight percent of teens plan on buying an iPhone in the next six months, up from 33% one year ago. In the last year, iPhone market share among teens has risen from 14% to 23%. Twenty-nine percent of respondents own a tablet or have one in their household, and 22% expect to buy an iPad in next six months, which should benefit Apple given iPad’s dominant market position.

Teens represent approximately 35% of video game players, with games representing 6% of teen spending. Teens tend to play games online, on mobile phones, and on Facebook. Twenty-one percent paid to play games online, reporting an annual spend of US$75. Buying intentions remain low for the purchase of new game systems and software during this fall. Despite declining interest in consoles and handhelds, teens remain receptive to new game experiences.