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Per New Study: Average Age Of Kids Getting Their First Smartphone Is 10.3 Years Old

Per New Study: Average Age Of Kids Getting Their First Smartphone Is 10.3 Years Old

In Influence Central’s new report, Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today’s Digital Natives, the firm looked into how our children are using the latest forms of mainstream technology, most particularly mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Needless to say, the results of the company’s study were pretty interesting. Here are the most important points:


  • The average age for a kid getting his first smartphone is now 10.3 years old
  • As the primary device preferred by kids when riding a car, tablet devices have increased their usage from 26 percent in 2012 to 55 percent today
  • Smartphones come in second as the gadget of choice among kids riding cars, with usage increasing to 45 percent today compared to 39 percent back in 2012
  • 64 percent of kids gain access to the Internet by way of their own tablet or laptop; in 2012, this percentage is just 42 percent
  • 39 percent of kids sign up for a social media account at 11.4 years of age
  • 11 percent of kids sign up for a social media account before reaching 10 years of age
  • In 2012, 85 percent gained access to the Internet from a room shared with other family members -- this has dropped to 76 percent today
  • 24 percent now enjoy “private” access to the Internet from their bedrooms; increasing from 15 percent in 2012


In conducting its study, Influence Central surveyed only women, in keeping consistent with its 2012 report, which only polled 500 female participants, specifically mothers. Moreover, in collecting data about the average age of kids owning their first smartphone, Influence Central actually did not take into account feature phones or “kiddie” phones. In its survey, the firm specifically phrased the question as follows: If you purchased a smartphone/cellphone for your child, what age was the child?


The role of the mobile phone has also changed. Back in 2012, kids use their phones primarily as a means of communicating with their parents or guardians. Fast forwarding to today, kids now view smartphones as more than just communication devices, but one that can do other tasks (social media, media streaming, etc) and feature games.


Is this new trend cause for alarm? Generations generally differ in terms of what environments they are accustomed to. A decade ago when smartphones were not common, people, including kids, typically turn to other pursuits to pass their time (Tamagotchi, anyone?). Some argue that the only reason more kids today are owning smartphones is because such devices are more common now compared to 2012. But is 10 years too early for a kid to own a handset? Some say yes, and some will say no. Regardless, it is happening now.


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