For Kids, iPod Touch is "Gateway Drug" to iPhone

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For Kids, iPod Touch is "Gateway Drug" to iPhone

The iPod touch is often viewed as the de facto replacement for the iPod line, which, despite owning 70 percent or more of the mobile music player market since early this decade, has started to show signs of decline. However, the iPod touch is serving an even more strategic role in popularizing the iPhone OS platform with a younger generation obsessed with social networking and gaming. When the Facebook generation is ready to graduate to a smartphone, chances are good that they will choose the platform on which they're already hooked.

According to a report from analytics firm Flurry, Apple's iPod touch is growing its share of the mobile device space faster than even iPhone itself, and the combined platform is leaving competitors in the dust.

The takeaway, as Flurry sees it, is that the iPod touch represents a major strategic advantage for Apple over other advanced mobile platforms. Tweens and teens flock to the iPod touch since it can play games and access social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, in addition to playing music and video. "[The iPod touch] is trending younger in terms of appeal," Peter Farago, Flurry's vice president of marketing, told Ars. "These kids are hyper-connected, and technology is enabling them to engage in social networking more often throughout the day."

These young users will build experience using the iPhone OS, amass a collection of games and other apps, have their music organized in iTunes, and collect all their friends' contact information over the course of owning an iPod touch. In a few years' time, these users will be far more likely to choose an iPhone over other competing mobile options.

Source: ars technica