One-fifth of kids go mobile
Americans are beginning their “always-on” habits at a younger and younger age, according to Mediamark Research & Intelligence’s (MRI’s) “American Kids Study.”
More than one-third of 10-to-11-year-olds in the US owned a mobile phone in 2009, compared with 20% in 2005. Ownership among kids ages 6 to 11 rose from 11.9% to 20% over the same time period.
In 2007, ownership among boys was 12.4%, while 18.6% of girls had a mobile phone. Penetration increased for both groups, but ownership among males increased faster, helping them catch up and narrow the gender gap to 18.3% versus 21.8%.
Kids with cellphones are still kids, though, and the top mobile activity by far was calling their parents. Using the phone to talk to friends and for emergencies was closely followed by text messaging, notoriously popular among young people.
“Preliminary data suggests that boys and girls may use their phones differently,” noted Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, marketing and strategic planning at MRI, in a statement. “Girls are more apt to make calls and send text messages while boys are more likely to instant message, access the Internet and download games, music and video.”
The Marketing to Moms Coalition found in summer 2009 that mobile devices accounted for the top two ways mothers communicated with their children under 18, with respondents talking to their kids on mobile phones an average of 5.1 times per week and texting their children 3.3 times weekly.
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Check out today’s other article, “Younger Americans Still Fueling Facebook.”