Many of us nowadays would happily admit that we can’t live without our beloved smartphone. If you’re over the age of 20, then the chances are that you never even saw a mobile phone until you were a teenager. Younger adults were fortunate enough to have a mobile phone while attending secondary school. Those who are slightly older may remember a time when mobile phones simply did not exist. Now that mobile phones and smartphones are a lot more prevalent, people are owning them at a much younger age.
A few weeks ago, we learned that half of all UK children own a mobile phone. Children are often excited about the prospect of owning a mobile phone. Perhaps even more so than adults. Children tend to like mobile phones for several reasons. Partly because of the novelty value that comes with owning such a device. Another reason is that there are thousands of games for young children available on smartphones. Children use smartphones for education as well as entertainment. But what’s the perfect age for a child to own their first mobile phone?
According to a study by musicMagpie, most parents believe that 11 is the most acceptable age for a child to own a mobile phone or smartphone. This clearly isn’t a view held by all parents though, as 25% of children under 6 already have their own smartphone.
Many parents admit to spending a lot less on their child’s smartphone than they do on their own. Many buy recycled or refurbished phones, and only 23% of parents surveyed said that they spent more than £500 on their child’s handset. However, the upfront cost is not the only cost associated with mobile phone ownership. Mobile data and app purchases can also ramp up the cost.
Almost half of children under the age of 6 spend more than 3 hours a day on their smartphones. More than 80% of parents admitted to not limiting their child’s smartphone usage. A fifth of parents said that they bought their child a mobile phone to keep them entertained, which would explain why as many as two fifths of children under 6 use their smartphones to play games. Of all the smartphone manufacturers, parents revealed that Samsung was the top choice for young children.