While 29% percent of teens polled owned a VR device — versus 87% who own iPhones — only 4% of headset owners used it daily, the investment firm found. 14% of owners used their headsets weekly.
In addition, teenagers didn’t seem that interested in buying forthcoming VR headsets. Only 7% said they planned to purchase a headset, versus 52% of teens polled who were unsure or uninterested.
The survey results suggest that virtual reality hardware and software has yet to catch on with the American public despite billions of dollars in investment in the technology from big tech companies and a number of low-cost headsets on the market. Teenagers are often seen as early adopters of new technology and their preferences can provide a preview of where the technology industry is going.
“To us, the lukewarm usage demonstrates that VR remains ‘early days’ and that these devices are less important than smartphones,” Piper Sandler analysts wrote.
The survey also shows that virtual reality is struggling to gain traction as Apple reportedly prepares to announce its own headset as soon as this year. The survey suggests that it may have an uphill climb to convince potential customers.
Meta is also expected to release new virtual reality headsets later this year. Its Quest 2 headset, which was released in 2020, is by far the leader in the market terms of sales, but shipments declined last year, according to analysts.
Piper Sandler’s teen study surveyed more than 5,600 teens in the U.S. in February of this year.