One of the key narratives I regularly encounter is surrounding the Millennial demographic and Apple. In our most recent millennial study, we included some sentiment questions about Apple we think give us some insight into the current mindset of millennials around Apple hardware. There are many data points collected by us and many other researchers to suggest Apple hardware is still highly desireable by this demographic and repurchase intent for iPhones in particular remains high among millennials. I have no data to suggest this dynamic will change and there was certainly a time when this group held Apple in the highest regard from an innovation standpoint. One of our questions was intended to see what 18-24-year-olds specifically felt about Apple when it comes to innovation.
In our last millennial study, we asked a specific question: “Which statement best reflects your feelings around Apple products?” We gave the respondents multiple choices which all reflect statements we heard frequently when we interviewed this demographic on this particular topic. The results were fascinating to dig into, particularly when you look at gender and platform. Here is the chart and answers to the specific choices we gave them.
It’s fascinating that millennial men have a much more critical eye and opinion of Apple’s perception as an innovator as compared to women. After seeing this data, it makes sense that the most vocal personalities on Twitter making noise about this are either men or millennial men. This chart also speaks volumes of a fascinating difference between the relationship men and women have with technology.
This chart below stood out to us as well. While the answers options we gave them were not necessarily limited to the notebook/desktop category, it was interesting to see this demographic’s answers when we looked at notebook/desktop operating systems — Mac and Windows owners.
Fascinatingly, Windows owning millennials feel like Apple should leave PCs to Microsoft. Another interesting statistic is nearly 25% of both Mac and Windows owners feel Microsoft is catching up with Apple in PC design and innovation.
I look at all of this in two ways. First, if the iPhone 8/X/Pro or whatever it is called is all we hear its shaping up to be, I think the perception of Apple and innovation will go up. However, that sentiment may still only be applicable to iPhones and some of the sentiment we see and hear around Macs may still exist until Apple revisits or does something to bring a breath of innovation back to the Mac. I still maintain the PC is an incredibly important platform. Even among those under 30, who still spend about four hours a day on their PCs or Macs, roughly about the same amount of time they spend on their smartphones per day. So the PC/Mac is still an important category from both a usage and engagement standpoint.
My other takeaway from this study isn’t charted here but has to do with Apple going beyond hardware with this demographic. Apple’s software (apps) only occupied two spots in the top ten of daily apps used by them — iMessage at #6 and Safari at #8. Both are good apps to have this demographic using daily but why not Mail? Gmail was number 5. This is why I hope efforts like Clips and other new apps for media creation and expression pay off for Apple. I hope Apple can engage this demographic in more ways than just hardware since that will be necessary in the years to come.