When people say they're buying consumer electronics "for the kids," they may just be telling the truth.
According to new research from the NPD Group, it seems many consumer electronics purchases were completed with the express purpose of letting the kids use them. According to the company, 78% of portable video game systems purchased and 56% of portable digital media players were given to kids.
At the same time, the research company found there are almost as many kids using computers (73%) as are using televisions (74%). Three-fifths of kids (60%) are using a portable or console gaming system.
A child's presence is also driving adoption of newer technologies. Among households with a child between the ages of 4 and 14, e-readers and media tablets were acquired at 8% and 5% rates, respectively, over the past year.
Of course, with the increase in consumer electronic options, something has to give. According to NPD, the number of days in which children use cell phones, personal digital media players and portable video game systems has declined. That, however, may be short-term as new devices still have a novelty factor to them, says Anita Frazier, industry analyst at the NPD Group.
"Kids who have access to a media tablet may temporarily put down their portable video game system but not necessarily move away from the gaming system altogether," Frazier said in a statement.
In the meantime, in households with kids ages 4-14, consumer electronic pricing is still the most important driver when it comes to deciding where to purchase an item. Because of the easy ability to compare products and prices, many families are making their CE purchases for children over the Internet rather than in brick-and-mortar retailers.
"Obviously, consumer electronics devices carry a hefty price tag as compared to something like a toy item," said Frazier. "Online shopping gives purchasers an easy way to seek out the best prices and offers."