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What’s the One Tech Item Gen Z & Millennials Would Buy Next?

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to tell us what one device they would buy next, if they could…

Have you heard that the hype over wearables may be ahead of its time? A new AYTM Market Research poll revealed that about three-quarters of consumers over 18-years-old in the U.S. have never purchased a wearable, though nearly half say they are likely to buy a wearable or smart clothing within the next five years. More than a quarter say they aren’t sure if they plan to do so, while another 27.6% say they most likely won’t. The market has clearly not lived up to expectations, with data showing that sales and shipments are slowing.

Wearables aren’t the only hyped-tech-item. We all know what happened to Google Glasses, and though year after year we’re told that virtual reality is going to be big “this year,” the reality is that adoption has been slow. We’ve commented before that young consumers have a bit of tech malaise—used to tech developing at lightning speed, they’ve been blown away by some of the innovations they’ve seen in their lifetime. But after decades of purchasing life-altering devices, nothing seems able to surprise and amaze them all that much these days; or at least, not much seems to be getting them to buy en masse. So what new (or not so new) devices are they actually interested in owning? In Ypulse’s recent Tech Device Use & Ownership survey, we asked 1000 13-34-year-olds, “What is the one tech item you would buy next if you could?” Here are their top responses:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of tech items that 13-34-year-olds are interested in owning. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most desired. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred. 

What is the one tech item they would buy next if they could?


  1. Smartphone
  2. Laptop
  3. Smartwatch
  4. Tablet
  5. Gaming Console
  6. TV
  7. VR
  8. Camera
  9. Fitness wearable
  10. Headphone / Earbuds
  11. Computer
  12. Connected Home Device
  13. Speakers / Sound System

It turns out more young consumers are lusting after a new smartphone and laptop than are hoping to buy the latest and snazziest new devices. But that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as these two devices—smartphones especially—have moved from luxury to indispensable in the eyes of Gen Z and Millennials. In fact, when we asked, 64% of 13-34-year-olds told us that their smartphone is the one device they own that they can’t live without—laptop came in second with a vastly lower 13%.  

Though smartphone is at or near the top of everyone’s list, we did see a few interesting differences between the tech item that Millennials, Gen Z, males, and females are most interested in: 

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Gen Z is more interested in VR than Millennials, who were more likely to say they’d like to buy a tablet or a TV—the increasing number of 18-34-year-olds’ who are parents and want those devices to entertain their kids might be helping to fuel this differentiation.

Meanwhile, males are more interested in VR than females, who were more likely to say they’d like to buy a tablet, smartwatch, or a fitness wearable. 

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.