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Apples Are Growing in American Homes

Half of all U.S. households own at least one Apple product, according to CNBC’s All-America Economic survey.

Apple iPad
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Apple iPad

That’s more than 55 million homes with at least one iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac computer. And one-in-10 homes that aren’t currently in that group plan to join it in the next year.

But Apple doesn’t have to worry about brand saturation any time soon. Americans don’t stop with just one device. Homes that own least one Apple, own an average of three. Overall, the average household has 1.6 Apple devices, with almost one-quarter planning to buy at least one more in the next year.

“It's a fantastic business model — the more of our products you own, the more likely you are to buy more,” says Jay Campbell, a vice president of Hart Research Associates, which conducts the CNBC survey along with Bill McInturff. “Planned obsolescence has always been a part of the technology industries sales model, but Apple has taken it to a whole new level.”

Our survey shows Apple buyers tend to be male, college-educated, and younger. They’re just as likely to own a home as not. Not surprisingly, the more money you earn, the more Apple products you’re likely to own.

Just 28 percent of those making less than $30,000 a year own at least one, compared with 77 percent of those making more than $75,000. Those on the higher end of the income scale own an average of about three Apple devices, compared with 0.6 for lower-income homes.

While growing up in the tech age makes a difference, the age gap isn’t as wide as you might think. In fact just as many Americans between ages 18 and 34 count themselves among Apple users, as those ages 35-to-49 (63 percent). The number drops to 50 percent when you get into the 50-to-64 age group, and down to just 26 percent among those 65 and older.

It seems parents either want their kids to keep up with technology, or they’re trying to keep them busy. Sixty-one percent of households with children own Apple devices, compared with 48 percent of homes without kids.

The gadgets have found their way into 57 percent of homes in the West, home of Silicon Valley, compared with 47 percent-51 percent in the rest of the country. Two Apple products are in the average home in the American West, compared with just 1.2 in the South, where people own the fewest devices.

Our survey also revealed the desirability of owning an Apple product appears to be something Republicans and Democrats can actually agree on. About 56 percent of the members of each party have at least one, although a gap could soon open. Twenty-six percent of Democrats plan to buy an Apple product in the next 12 months, versus 19 percent of Republicans.

The poll of 836 Americans was conducted by landline and cellphone from March 19 to 22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.

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