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In UK households where both children and tablets are present, they invariably come together on a regular basis. According to data from the Office of Communications (Ofcom), 80% of children under the age of 18 used tablet devices at least once a week in 2013, according to their parents, and 41% did so every day.
The types of things they were doing with these devices centered primarily around entertainment, but with one activity far and away the most popular. Playing games was cited by 71% of parents as an activity their children were partaking in on the tablet; watching short video clips came much further back as the second-most-popular activity, cited by 44%.
A great deal of kids’ tablet use is via a shared device—the same Ofcom report also stated that about 30% of UK tablet owners shared their device with their children. But might this practice be about to change?
In the run up to Christmas 2013, a plethora of budget tablet devices are beginning to flood the market. UK supermarket chain Tesco recently released its £119 ($189) Hudl device. That was followed by high-street retailer Argos launching its £100 ($159) MyTablet. And UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has even got in on the act, discounting its Avoca tablet to just £49 ($78) for a limited period. While these devices may not be as sophisticated as those at the higher end of the market, they will at least provide reasonable support for that most popular activity—playing games.
With other, more established players discounting older tablet models as well, there’s more than an outside chance that many Christmas stockings will contain a tablet device this year. Latest eMarketer figures support this view, with the fastest user growth figures for 2013 by demographic being seen for the under-12 age range. May the tablet games begin.
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