A new survey says that Apple devices are gaining popularity among teenagers, and that an iPad mini could be a sure way to increase Apple product adoption among a younger audience.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster asked 7,700 US teenagers whether they own an iPhone, and 40 per cent said yes. This is up from 34 per cent who said they own an iPhone in spring this year, and 23 per cent this time last year.

According to the poll, 62 per cent of the participants said that they plan to buy an iPhone as their next phone, while just 22 per cent said they would buy a Samsung.

Tablet ownership has increased among young people over the last year too. Munster's survey revealed that 44 per cent of participants own a tablet, up 10 per cent from Spring this year and up from 29 per cent recorded last autumn.

Of the participants who said they own tablets, 72 per cent told Munster that theirs was an iPad, up two per cent from the results of the spring survey.

20 per cent of participants said that they don't own a tablet but plan to buy one in the next six months, 74 per cent of those hoping to buy an iPad.

Interestingly, 43 per cent of the teenagers who want to buy a tablet within the next six months said that they would be more likely to do so if Apple releases the rumoured iPad mini at $299 or less.

"We are reaffirmed in our belief that Apple remains the pre-eminent technology brand for teens," said Munster. "We believe that the launch of a smaller iPad could eventually increase iPad ownership among younger users."

"Overall, we expect Apple devices to continue to expand in teen ownership and believe that the company is set up well to benefit from loyalty among its younger user base," Munster concludes.

Apple's new iPod touch appears to be geared more towards a younger audience, with brand new colour choices and a Loop accessory to keep the device safe from being dropped when in clumsy hands.

[Via Fortune]