Just 16.8% of UK kids ages 0 to 11 used a mobile phone in 2012, according to eMarketer estimates, and that number will only increase to 17.7% by 2017. But what is striking is during that timeframe, the mobile device of choice among this demographic is increasingly set to become a smartphone. Just 36.6% of UK mobile phone users in this age bracket used a smartphone in 2012, but this number will effectively double by 2017, to 72.4%.
So with this increasing proclivity for smarter devices, one might question the logic of some device manufacturers introducing limited-function mobile phones specifically targeted at kids.
The 1stFone, from UK mobile phone company OwnFone, aimed at kids ages 4 to 9, has no screen, no internet connectivity and no texting ability. The purported aim of the phone is specifically to give parents a nonsmartphone option for their youngest mobile phone users. Yet as a growing number of kids use their mobile phone—increasingly a smartphone—for internet access, the company is potentially facing a demographic who knows the ins and outs of mobile internet access perfectly well.
According to the Office of Communications (Ofcom), 22% of children ages 5 to 15 used a mobile phone to access the internet in 2012, up from just 10% in 2010.
With kids in the UK increasingly taking up and utilizing “smart” mobile devices, the gap in the market may be for a child-specific smartphone as opposed to a limited-function mobile phone.
Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the over 750 companies already benefiting from eMarketer’s approach. Learn more.
Thursday, August 21, 1pm ET
Click to Register. Space is limited.
Join eMarketer for a free webinar:
You've never experienced research like this.
Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.
Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.