Is Apple no longer hella cool?

Posted by Shane McGlaun

A company known Buzz Marketing says word on the teen street is that Apple may no longer be hella cool.

According to Buzz, America's youth are actually more impressed by Samsung's Galaxy smartphone and Microsoft's Surface RT tablet.

"Teens are telling us Apple is done," Buzz analyst Tina Wells told Forbes. "[Yes], Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older (Millennials), but I don't think they are connecting with Millennial kids."

Of course we are taking these claims with a huge grain of salt, especially considering that Microsoft's Surface tablet has racked up decidedly less-than-stellar sales (thus far). However, the Galaxy S III smartphone has been incredibly popular, with Samsung recently confirming that it indeed managed to offload over 100 million Galaxy S series devices.

Interestingly, other market surveys of teenage users paint quite a different picture in terms of love for all things Apple. Indeed, Forbes quotes a poll by marketing company Smarty Pants called the Young Love survey which claims that 67% of affluent teens intend to purchase an iPhone as their next smartphone upgrade. Samsung is in second place in that particular market poll, with 22% of teens saying they plan to purchase a Samsung device.

Personally, I'm not so sure I buy any of this. Teens and tweens snap up whatever their parents are willing to purchase them, at least for the most part. My 11-year-old son is firmly in the tween category and apparently, "everybody" has an iPhone. In fact, when it came to Christmas the iPhone is what he wanted. Given a choice, he decided on the iPhone 4 rather than the iPhone 5, especially when he realized the expense of the iPhone 5 meant that's pretty much all he would get. He still wanted the iPhone 4 over various Android smartphones, though.

His peers want an iPhone too, at least from what I've heard. No fewer than three of his friends came by, played with his iPhone, and told me they wanted Apple's handset for Christmas but their parents said no. At least one of these kids was using an Android phone. I think as much is anything the declining cool factor of Apple some see in teens could be due, in part, to the perceived expense of Apple products by their parents.

What teens want aside, clearly Apple missed the mark with the iPhone 5. Many people have complained that the latest iterationg of Apple's flagship handset is such a small upgrade compared to the previous version of the iPhone. In fact, reports surfaced this week that Apple scaled-back iPhone 5 component orders due to poor demand.