Parents are prepared to pay more for mobile phones for their kids, as one in six spend more on their child’s device than their own.
According to a survey carried out by price comparison site uSwitch, 15% of children under 16 have more expensive handsets than their mum or dad, as models like the Nokia Lumia 900 and Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini become more popular. Generally statistics show parents spend more on their own devices, an average of £246 compared to the £125 spent on phones for their children.
On top of expenditure on physical handsets, the study also shows that children spend an average of £11 per month on mobile bills, just £8 less than their parents, while one in ten children outspend their parents’ monthly tariff. Despite this, only a quarter requests a cap on their offspring’s contracts from network operators, while 42% don’t monitor what they spend at all. Only 3% of parents disable their child’s data use.
The report revealed parents are becoming more comfortable buying mobile devices for younger children as more than one million own a phone before they’ve turned five. Almost one in 10 tech-savvy under-5s own a mobile phone (9%), however, the average age children receive their first handset is 12. It was found that parents were inclined to spend more on their first-born than any other children. Mums and dads spent 15% more on their first child’s handset, while £1 extra per month was spent on their monthly bills compared to their second-born child.
Telecoms expert at uSwitch Ernest Doku said: ‘As well as arming kids with mobiles for emergencies and peace of mind, I’d imagine that many parents have bought their kids smartphones just to stop them commandeering their own when bored. Smartphones are getting more affordable all the time, with entry-level models costing as little as £7 per month with a free phone or £29.99 for a SIM-free handset.’
Author: Matthew Campelli