Press Release | February 20, 2024

CTA Research: Exploring Gen Z Views and Preferences in Technology

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® is releasing a new study, Exploring Technology Preferences Among Gen Z, revealing how shifting interests among Gen Z consumers (11-26) in the U.S. are affecting the consumer technology industry. The study finds 86% of Gen Z agree that technology is essential to their lives, notably higher than older generational cohorts.
Gen Z represents roughly 69 million people in the U.S. according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a quarter of the population and the second largest cohort behind Millennials. According to CTA research, Gen Z reports they are more likely to splurge on tech than their older cohorts (Gen X and Baby Boomers) and are specifically interested in purchasing a smartphone in the next year, despite their high personal ownership of smartphones.
“Gen Z shows that the future of technology will be mobile, and the smartphone ecosystem is positioned for growth,” said CTA Director of Market Research Jessica Boothe. “This shift reflects the Gen Z preference for personalized, on-the-go experiences that align with their fast-paced lifestyles. As younger generations lead the charge towards mobile-centric content consumption, companies must adapt their strategies to meet their evolving demands.”
State of the Market:
  • Gen Z owns an average of 13 technology products (out of 32 products surveyed) in their household. They report using six technology products daily and spend around 12 hours using those products.
  • 73% of Gen Z have a television in their household, and 59% say they personally own a television – significantly less compared to older generations. Gen Z prefers to watch TV for long-form, high-quality content such as movies and sports. 
  • In contrast, Gen Z is more likely than older cohorts to personally own streaming devices (52%), gaming consoles (58%), and portable gaming consoles (36%).
  • Smartphones (particularly Apple iOS) are the preferred device for Gen Z with 94% owning one. Gen Z prefers a smartphone to watch free, short-form content (i.e., social media like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram).
  • Gen Z are more likely to own wireless earbuds and wireless headphones compared to their wired audio counterparts.
Generational Tech Divides:
  • Both Gen Z and Millennials share similar product preferences, usage patterns, and a willingness to invest in future tech purchases and subscription services.
  • However, Gen Z splits from Millennials as they adopt technology earlier and have a higher likelihood of sharing products within the household (especially among younger Gen Z members), and their inclination toward maintaining a higher number of subscriptions on average, particularly in gaming platforms.
Research Methodology
CTA’s Exploring Technology Preferences Among Gen Z is available today, free for CTA members and $999 to non-members. The survey was administered as an online survey among 2202 U.S. Adults (ages 18-plus) and children (ages 11 to 17, recruited via their parents) from October 4-18, 2023. The margin of sampling error at 95% confidence for aggregate results is +/-2%. Sampling error is larger for subgroups of the data.
Sign up for CTA’s monthly research newsletter today. The study is available online for $999.00 and all CTA research is free to association members. To request an interview, contact