Parental Control A Key Factor in Smartphone Purchases For Kids

Marketers wondering what motivates consumers to buy certain mobile phones, especially for children, are being offered some answers by HMD Global, seller of Nokia phones.  

While cost is a leading factor, 70% of users say they would choose a smartphone over a cheaper non-smart phone.  

But 83% of parents say parental controls are extremely important. In addition, child restrictions are a key feature for 64% of parents, followed by durability (57%) and location tracking (55%). 

Age counts: 78% of Millennial parents monitor their kids' texts and phone activity, while only 59% of Boomer and Gen X parents do so. Yet child safety restrictions top the list of must-have features for 65% of Millennials and 64% of parents in the Boomer and Gen X cohorts.  

In addition, Safety/child restrictions top the list of important features for all parents – with 65% of Millennial parents and 64% of Boomer and Gen X parents citing this. 

The presumed need to communicate with children during emergencies also motivates parents to let their kids take their phones to school 

As for cost, 25% of Southern parents spend $150-$300 for a child’s first phone, while only 12% in the Northeast have spent that much, and 17% in the Midwest. Rather, 25% in the Northeast and Midwest have spent less than$150.

Dads are willing to spend more for a child’s first phone, Moms a little less. 

And age? only 12% of parents feel  kids should receive their first phone between ages 7-9. Almost 34% believe  10-12 is the right age category for a first phone, while 31% actually think it should be even at ages 13-15. 

“Choosing the first phone for your child can be an overwhelming task, with so many choices, preferences and sources of information,” says Jackie Kates, GM of marketing for  North America at HMD Global. “For many parents, it’s a need, not just a want – and the goal is to get all the features they want for their kids without breaking the bank.”

HMD Global surveyed 600 consumers on May 22, 2023.




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