Prospective parents might want to look away now. A new survey has found that children in the UK as young as 4 will be receiving a brand new mobile phone from Santa this Christmas.
The dual survey, commissioned by TigerMobiles.com, firstly quizzed 3150 parents with children aged between 4 and 12 years old on the most popular products that made up their shopping list for Christmas 2014.
Gadgets were a strong performer throughout with 53% of parents listing a mobile phone as being on their shopping list. Other popular gifts were Tablet Computers (59%), Games Consoles (38%) and the Kidizoom Smart Watch (25%). Overall a gadget in some shape or form was on 96% of parents Christmas shopping lists.
The second survey invited the 1670 parents who listed a mobile phone on their list to answer further questions about their buying habits. Key findings included:
• 95% of parents will be buying their children full blown smartphones as opposed feature phones that do not have apps or full internet access.
• 55% admitted the number one reason they were buying a mobile phone was because their child’s friends owned one. 32% stated safety.
• 72% of parents will buy a contract phone instead of pay as you go.
• 48% believe contract phones offer better deals and 39% revealed that a contract helped make the phone more affordable as the payments were spread across 24 months.
• On average parents will look to pay around £25 per month (£300 per year) on a contract phone for their child.
• The most popular handsets included the iPhone 5S (36%), the iPhone 4S (23%), Samsung Galaxy S4 (14%) and the Moto G (11%)
Head of Customer Insight at TigerMobiles.com, Brandon Ackroyd, wasn’t overly surprised at the findings – “The world has gone mobile so it’s no real surprise that young children are getting their hands on a smartphone this Christmas.”
“I had to pester my parents for months before they got me a phone, now it seems children don’t even have to ask; they’re just given one because all their friends have one.”
One area of concern for Mr. Ackroyd was the money parents are planning to spend on handsets.
“We are seeing more and more parents splash the cash on high end smartphones when they really don’t need to. Even the hardcore smartphone user rarely uses an iPhone to its full potential so for a child at primary school age it is complete overkill.”
Ackroyd added “I’d always point parents in the direction of cheaper handsets and also go for PAYG over a pay monthly deal. It means parents are not taking on credit just to satisfy their children during the festive season and they’re also a good way of teaching children financial control and budgeting from a young age.”