Mobile ownership falls amongst children as tablet usage triples

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Only 43 per cent of 5 to 11 year olds own a mobile phone, down from 49 per cent in 2012, a report by Ofcom has found

The number of children who own a mobile phone has fallen for the first time since 2005, as tablet ownership amongst age group triples.

According to telecoms regulator Ofcom, only 43 per cent of 5 to 11 year olds own a mobile phone, down from 49 per cent in 2012.

Its report, ‘Children and parents: media use and attitudes report’, published today (October 3) said the proportion of younger children (8-11) who own a basic mobile phone fell particularly steeply, from 28 per cent last year to 15 per cent.

Among this age group, 18 per cent now own a smartphone. The same proportion now own a tablet, up from four per cent in 2012.

With children aged between 12 and 15, 67 per cent own a smartphone, as in 2012, but tablet ownership has grown from seven per cent to 26 per cent.

Overall, the use of tablets has tripled among 5 to 15 year olds, from 14 per cent last year to 42 per cent, with one quarter (28 per cent) of infants (3-4) now using a tablet at home.

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