What are parents’ motivations and concerns when it comes to buying their child a mobile device and subscribing to a wireless service? To find out, Nielsen’s fourth-quarter 2016 Mobile Kids Report delved into the subject and shares the insights from respondents of parents of kids’ ages 6–12 who answered on behalf of their children.
A Tween and Their Mobile Device
Nielsen's report started by examining when kids in American typically get their first smartphone. 45% got their first mobile device and service plan between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. The age that most kids get their first phone is 10 (22%), but some get a phone as young as age 8 (16%). More boys also tend to get a mobile device than girls (56% vs. 44%).
Additionally, parents don't usually look for a special plan for their kids. 93% will just get their kids the same wireless plan that they have, including voice, text messaging and data..
Parents of Pre-Teens will be looking for information about mobile devices and plans for their kids. Mobile wireless dealers can target them with television (over-the-air, online, mobile or tablet) commercials, because the latest AudienceSCAN research on AdMall by SalesFuel reported 42.5% of Parents of Pre-Teens took action based on commercials in the past month.
Why are parent's buying their kids a mobile device at such a young age? The main concern is contact. 90% of parents who buy their kids a phone before the age of 13 do so primarily to be able to contact them more easily. 80% also use the smartphone as a way to track their kid's location and 66% just got the phone for their kid because their child kept asking.
Advertising can hit these points to appeal to tween parents. According to AudienceSCAN data, 31.6% of Parents of Pre-Teens took action after hearing radio (over-the-air, online, mobile or tablet) spots in the past month.
Buying a mobile device for their child doesn't mean that these parents aren't still concerned about the safety risks associated with a smartphone. For one, young children are prone to losing things, and if they lose their smartphone, that could be a costly mistake. That's why 77% of parents share this fear. Parents are also worried that a mobile device could be a distraction (72%) and time waster (71%). What their kids expose themselves to online is also a worry of 68% of these parents since 67% don't know if their children know how to responsibly use a smartphone.
Mobile device retailers can help put these fears to rest by promoting their products' safety controls, blocking features, usage controls and service plans specifically for young children.
Chances are, they're looking for iPhones. The most recent AudienceSCAN study revealed Parents of Pre-Teens are 24% more likely than average consumers to be using iPhones.