Feature Article

July 11, 2012

Family Plans Now Drive Pre-Teen Mobile Adoption

One measure of the popularity of mobile phones is the near-ubiquity of mobile usage, including “tweens” between eight and 12. Fifty-six percent of respondents surveyed by ORC International as part of a recent study say they have purchased cell phones for their young children, ranging from a high of 62 percent in households earning over $100,000 a year and a low of 41 percent in households under $50,000 a year.

The top three reasons parents buy mobile phones for tweens are safety (84 percent), tracking child's after-school activities (73 percent) and “child asked for one” (16 percent).

Virtually all those devices support text messaging. Only four percent of tweens with cell phones got a basic phone with no Web or texting access. Some 48 percent have a feature phone with texting, while another get 20 percent use a feature phone with texting and Web access, and 27 percent use a smartphone.

Some 81 percent of parents of tweens put their child on a contract-based mobile phone plan and 15 percent use a prepaid cell phone service. Eighty-four percent of parents added a tween user to an existing family plan. That statistic shows the power of family or multi-user plans, which were originally adopted by mobile service providers as a way of stimulating mobile device usage by teenagers, at a time when adult adoption rates were approaching saturation. 

The same logic now appears to be driving adoption by pre-teens.


Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

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Edited by Braden Becker


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