More than a million of kids in the UK get their first mobile phone by the time they’re five years old, according to new research from the price comparison website, uSwitch. However, the average age for children to get their first mobile is 11 years and 8 months, which is soon after starting secondary school.
When shopping for handsets, parents will spend £246 on themselves, while they’ll only fork out an average £125 on their kids’ phones, which is enough to get the an entry-level smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Ace or BlackBerry Curve 9320. On the other hand, we have 15% of kids under 16 owning mobiles worth more than their parents’.
Parents with more than one child spend on average 15% more on their first-born’s first handset than on their second born. Older kids also get to talk and text more, with their parents shelling out £12 per month on their phone bill, compared to £11 for their second child. While parents spend £19 per month on average on their own pay-monthly mobile deals, they spend just £11 per month on average on each of their children’s bills.
Further findings reveal that 42% of parents don’t bother to monitor what their children spend, 25% wisely place caps on their kids’ contracts, while 3% disable the data function on their kids’ phones so they are only able to use them for calling and texting.