Kid’s Usage of Smartphones and Tablets Outpaces All Other Electronics

Port Washington, NY, Sept. 22, 2014 – Kids’ usage of smartphones and media tablets outpaces their usage of all other consumer electronic devices in U.S. households, according to Kids and CE: 2014, the latest report from global information provider, The NPD Group.

Seventy-one percent of households with a child age 4-14 reported owning a smartphone in 2014, up from 55 percent in 2012. Furthermore, incidence of ownership of media tablets doubled between 2012 and 2014, growing from 21 percent to 43 percent, respectively. Among those with kids in the household, 35 percent said that their child uses a smartphone, up from 21 percent in 2012. For media tablets, the figure was 31 percent, up from thirteen percent in 2012.

Personal ownership of consumer electronic devices among children age 4-14 slightly bucks the trend the data have shown thus far in that portable devices were the only device group to exhibit steady increases in ownership among the children themselves. Rather than growing, incidence of personal ownership of cell phones, including traditional cell phones and smartphones, held steady at 19 percent in 2014.

Pricing rises to the top of the list
The main reason cited by consumers for purchasing a consumer electronic device from any retailer is pricing, and it is a particularly important consideration among those who purchased from mass merchants. Sales support/services as a reason for purchase becomes more meaningful to consumers who purchased from electronic/specialty retailers. In most instances, regardless of the device, pricing, technology, and features dominate the decision making.

“Technology devices are as much staples for American families as traditional toys, perhaps more so considering their ability to engage with almost any member of the family,” said Juli Lennett, president of the Toys division at The NPD Group. “Marketing smartphones and tablets for family use, rather than the traditional primary user, and offering pricing and payment options to meet the needs of families, will engage this audience even further.”

An online survey was fielded from May 22, 2014 through June 9, 2014 to members of NPD’s online panel. The survey was completed by 3,028 individuals age 22 and older with a child in the house between the ages 4 and 14. Respondents were asked to bring their child to the computer to help them complete the survey. Those with more than one child in the specified age range answered for a randomly selected child. Household metrics, such as ownership and recent purchasing of consumer electronic products, were collected among all respondents. In order to qualify for the remainder of the study, the respondent’s child had to use at least one consumer electronic device being measured in the study.

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