The average Brit now gets to own their first mobile phone at the age of seven, new research has claimed.
Whilst just a decade ago children would get their first mobile, on average, at the age of 13, this has since plummeted to seven thanks to cheaper handsets, more being passed down from parents and a general trust in the technology, orange.co.uk reports.
The decision on when a child should have their first mobile is still being decided by the parents, with many (74 per cent) giving their children the devices for safety and piece of mind. A much smaller total (22 per cent), meanwhile, claimed that the purchase was influenced by fellow classmates who had mobile devices.
Elsewhere, the study by mobilephonechecker.com found that parents are also preferring to set up ‘pay monthly’ contracts for their children instead of ‘pay as you go’ so that they won’t run out of credit and therefore fail to get through in case of an emergency.
The research also shows just how used to mobiles children are becoming. Then, these so-called “mobile natives” who have grown up with the technology could even become more open to the likes of sms marketing in the coming years.
Commenting on the results, mobilephonechecker.com director Adam Cable told iphoneeinstein.com: “Despite the argument that parents want to keep their children safe at all times, many may think that seven years old is far too young to own a mobile phone.
“However, I have seen four-year-olds who can work their parent’s iPhone or iPad perfectly well. The protection of children is obviously a key factor in their usage of mobile phones, but as long as the proper precautions are taken to ensure maximum safety of children using handsets, then they absolutely have their benefits.”