One out of ten kids in the UK have their own mobile phone by age five, according to research

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According to research by uSwitch.com, the average child in the UK receives their first smartphone at the age of twelve, but nine percent of children – that’s more than a million children – are given their first mobile phone by the age of five.

The study suggests that the average monthly bill among children was £11, while for adults it was around £19. Parents spend about £246 on their devices and more than £125 on their children’s. However, about 15 percent of children under the age of sixteen have phones worth more than their parents.

The study does not appear to differentiate between feature phones and smartphones.

Ernest Doku, telecom experts at uSwitch.com, 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.”

However, Doku advises parents planning on buying their children smartphones to take “a number of precautions” like capping data limits on their children’s phone bill and forcing them to browse the web using WiFi at home rather than 3G or 4G, so that their children won’t rack up bills on the phones.

So, what do you guys think?  Do you think a child as young as five needs a smartphone? Let us know in the comment section below.

[via Telegraph UK, uSwitch and Image via Turner.com]

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5 comments

  1. JonE

    I personally thing that even age twelve is too young for any child to be possessing one of these devices that is their’s to have and hold and keep and cherish. But, I have to say that’s what I’m seeing as an average around where I live.

    But, I do know parents that use a mobile device for their school age children as a parenting tool. The child only has the phone during school days and is returned to the parent, normally when the parent picks them up from school. The parent has total accesse to the phone and checks the phone and phone logs, on the internet, for the devices activities, if any. As the children get older they are allowed to use the device for a limited amount of time, on certain days, but the parents that do this keep control of the device and monitor all activity on the device. If the children go outside the boundries set then, well . . . . . . . you get the point.

    I’m an old fashioned father and grandfather and don’t think any parent is doing their children a favor by letting them have uncontrolled access to one of these devices. My narrow opinion.