I’ve just learned something new, according to an article in Wired, that goHenry features in (see it here http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-04/15/the-kids-are-alright)
Around 28 % of 5- to 15-year-olds in the UK own a smartphone, according to Ofcom figures. The figure rises to almost two-thirds for 12 to 15-year-olds, higher than the average for adults’.
The core age group for the goHenry children is between 8 and 14 years of age. From a business perspective I would be thrilled to think that all of our children have smartphones, goHenry is very close to launching our free goHenry app for IoS and Android and, if both goHenry parents and goHenry children are able to access the app, it will mean a terrific improvement to the level of service we are able to offer you all. From a personal perspective, Wow! Really?!! Two-thirds!!
From my experience the cost of a contract for a smart phone starts at around the £30 mark, for the basic, extending all the way up to £45+ for the latest iPhone/ Android devices. Contracts provide you with a 'free of charge’ handset and usually an unlimited amount of minutes and texts and a limited data bundle. Whereas in the past the contract would be for 12-18 months, today the mobile phone companies are very fond of 24 month contracts. It has been my experience, and the experience of my 3 post goHenry age children that it is rare for a smart phone to survive that length of time, or indeed anywhere close to it! Pay as you go offers a safe alternative for younger children and teens but you are still looking at the cost of the phone up front. Whilst there are plenty of reasonably priced phones, the 'must have’ appears to be the iPhone, the latest version retails for £254 (8gb) and a whopping £354 for the 16gb version. These are definitely not pocket money items.
It is a minefield, and I could write pages on insurance costs, data costs, extra costs, hidden costs but I suppose what I am really interested in is the driving force behind this high level of smartphone ownership within this young, non-earning age group. Is it purely down to pester power? I’m not so sure. I’ve realised that mine didn’t necessarily even need to pester, my parents were frugal, I’m slightly less so, but I love to see my daughter looking fabulous and see the boys doing things that I never had the opportunity to.
Perhaps it is that simple, parents will always want more for their children than they have had themselves…What do you think goHenry parents?