Tweens & Cell Phones: The Eye of Mordor Grows

JupiterResearch on Tweens & Cell Phones

Last week, Jupiter Research released the results of a new study on tweens and mobile phones (check out some of the original coverage by anastasia and webpronews), predicting that tweens will be the next big US market for cell phones and mobile technologies. The market research firm believes that “safety” will be the key driving force of this expanding market, as parents purchase mobile phones for their kids in order to enable
constant and immediate (remote) contact….. (see Sara’s article for more quotes)

With all the new cells for kids and tweens coming out this year and last, Jupiter’s prediction is not exactly earth shattering…they’re either tapping into some of the same trends uncovered by the children’s industries’ market researchers, or perhaps discovering the influence these products (and surrounding advertisements) are already exerting on public perception. Either way, they foresee “dramatic” growth in tween’s cell phone adoption over the next 12 months.

That said, however, the report also found that “parents are still reluctant to add children younger than 10, believing it’s unnecessary.” To this, Jupiter Research President David Schatsky replies, “Mobile communications may be gaining wider acceptance, but it’s clear there is still a line that consumers, especially parents of younger children,
aren’t quite ready to cross.” For him, the answer lies in parents’ different understandings of “safety and security,” which appear to vary significantly depending on the age of the child. Schatsky explains, “For older teens, the catalyst may be going away to college for the first time, for younger teens, it may be the convenience of a parent being able to reach the child. Whatever the definition, it is apparent that it is applied differently based on the age of a child.”

Gamine Expedition: JupiterResearch on Tweens & Cell Phones

Okay– so yes, the UK is typically ahead of the states in phone technology. Last week I saw at least a dozen U13 kids from more “urban” areas of London (Hackney to be precise… wasn’t always the best area to live in, but it’s getting much better) using cell phones as they pranced in and out of buses and tubes.

When it comes down to it– cell phones for the tater tots is totally a parenting call. If you let your 11 year old prance in and out of buses on a whim, then yes… perhaps you’d be a candidate for family cell phones. I, however, wouldn’t let my child prance in and out of buses and tubes at any younger than 13… but I am also a freak about such things, and I’ve rambled on and on about it.

I’m happy to see parents being wary about their kids. Yay!

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