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Mobile Phones UK Authors: OnPage Blog, Yeshim Deniz, Mat Rider, Valeriia Timokhina, Jayaram Krishnaswamy

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Research and Markets: Children's Ownership and Use of Mobile Phones in the UK: a 2011-12 Report


Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "CHILDWISE Monitor Report 2011-12 - Mobile Phones" report to their offering.

The CHILDWISE Monitor is a comprehensive annual report focused on children's and teenagers' media consumption, brand attitudes and key behaviour, now in its eighteenth year.

This year, more than 2700 children aged 5-16 across the United Kingdom were interviewed in depth on a range of topics.

This report focuses on children's ownership and use of mobile phones.

Mobile phones move centre stage

Mobile phones are a must-have possession for older children, with almost all secondary school age children having their own phone for several years now. This year sees a new development, with the move to internet enabled phones now reaching the majority of children. Child-friendly contracts, offering inclusive packages, and, frequently, a cap once limits are exceeded, have given many children access to the internet anywhere and everywhere. This year, it is their mobile phone that is the one item of technology that they could least live without, and the majority are using their phones throughout the day, spending on average an hour and a half a day using their phone, for texting, games, checking Facebook, and using the internet. Talk time comes extra. With more children moving towards phone contracts, generally paid for by parents, topping up phone credits is becoming a thing of the past. This move means another step away from a direct relationship with money and budgeting, towards the less tangible realms of contract payments. Some have seen a fall in their allowance now that their parents have taken on the cost of their phone.

Phone ownership among younger children has stalled at around one in two, but many younger children use their parents' phones to play games and for other activities. A wealth of apps targeted at young children is now available, and younger children too see the mobile phone as one of the most desirable items of technology - whether they actually have one, or not. This early familiarity with what a phone can offer is likely to increase pressure on parents to let children have their own phones at an ever younger age.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Ownership of mobile phones
  • Mobile phone usage
  • Mobile phone networks
  • Mobile phone activities
  • Internet access via mobile phones
  • Downloading and using applications
  • Phone payment methods and amount spent
  • Differences between subgroups

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