The Inquirer-Home

3.5 million British brats aged eight and under own a tablet

12 percent have run up bills through in-app purchases
Thu Jan 16 2014, 08:10

THERE IS A RICH MARKET of children out there with access to tablet computers.

In fact these privileged Violet Beauregardes have their own tablet to play with, at least according to Uswitch, which concerns itself with this sort of thing.

According to experts at the firm this amounts to 27 percent of the British under eight population. It also found that one in ten kids, or 11 percent, had "first learned to use a tablet or smartphone" by their second birthday.

Tablet happy parents have splashed out more than £5.5bn on gadgets for their kids of all ages in the last year alone, and this, said Uswitch, works out at around £462 each. In December, otherwise known as Santa present month, parents dropped £3.2bn on such electronics.

Now some parents are concerned and Uswitch found that 16 percent are worried that their under 16 years of age offspring are "addicted to gadgets".

Meanwhile 12 percent of the little tinkerers have run up bills on their tablets or smartphone through in-app purchases, or what we like to call, very bad personal settings. You can read our handy guide on how not to become a victim to your child's in app purchases here

Uswitch telecoms analyst Ernest Doku said, "Once the gadget of choice for high-flyers and tech fans, the price of an entry-level tablet is now under £100, making them an attractive - and affordable - piece of kit for the whole family.

"They can also make lessons, homework and bedtime stories both fun and interactive, so it's little wonder that more British parents are caving in to demands from their tech-savvy children. Most tablet-owning parents will probably find their tots commandeer their touchscreen devices anyway."

"But parents really do need to keep tabs on what their children get up to online, and lay out some ground rules, or risk having to cover the cost of bills racked up by in-app purchases - particularly in seemingly 'free-to-play' games." µ


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