Nearly half – 46% – of US “tweens” (those age 8-12) use a cell phone, and safety is the primary reason that parents cite for their childrens’ having a mobile phone, according to Nielsen’s newly launched Mobile Kids Insights survey.
The survey also estimates that US tweens – a population segment of 20 million – get their own cell phone between age 10 and 11, on average.
Some 55% of tweens who own a cell phone send text messages and 21% download ringtones, according to the study.
In terms of the role that parents play in tween cell phone use:
- The top reason parents want tweens to have a cell phone: in case there is an emergency or problem.
- 92% of parents restrict how tweens use their phone
- 68% say they prohibit downloads (games, ringtones, etc.) that incur charges.
- 65% of tweens with cell phones are on family plans.
About the survey: Mobile Kids Insights is customized to measure and profile the tween mobile market opportunity and explores the drivers of mobile adoption for tweens and their parents. The report builds off a collaboration between Nielsen Mobile and BASES, which has experience in accessing and surveying kids age 8-12. The survey sample includes 1,700 tweens.