The decline can be blamed almost entirely on the drop in cell phone ownership among those 8 to 11. In that bracket, the number of kids owning their own mobile phone declined to 15% from 28% a year earlier. And while smartphone ownership among the younger kids remained stable this year at 18%, tablet ownership has soared from 4% to 18%. Even older kids are turning to tablets. In the 12 to 15 year old demographic, 62% own a smartphone compared to the 26% that have their own slate. But while the smartphone number is about the same as last year's figure, the tablet number is up sharply from the 7% of kids in that bracket who owned one last year. And tablet usage among children aged 5-15 has tripled since 2012 with 42% now using one. In what could be a sign of bad news to come for console makers, fewer kids in the 5-15 year old group have a dedicated game console in their bed room (47% now own one vs 56% last year) reflecting the huge increase in tablet use.
Other research shows that certain social media sites continue to draw youngsters despite an overall drop in online profiles for those 5 through 15 (68% versus 81% last year). Of those with an active profile, an amazing 97% are using Facebook. Other social sites with a gain in usage by the kids include YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. And yes, Kids are sending more texts with the average 12 to 15 year old sending 255 SMS messages a week versus 193 last year.
Survey of device usage among U.K. youngsters
source: Ofcom via TechCrunch