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Number of children with mobiles falls for first time in eight years as focus shifts to iPads


The number of children with mobile phones has fallen for the first time in eight years - because many prefer to own iPads and other sophisticated tablet devices.

Figures released by Ofcom show that the number of children aged 5-15 owning a mobile phone dropped from 49 per cent last year to 43 per cent in 2013.

The broadcast regulator attributed the change to a large number of younger children (aged 8-11) trading up their basic mobiles (down from 28 per cent to 15 per cent ownership in a year) for smartphones (18 per cent) and tablets (18 per cent).

Among older children (12-15) there was still a clear preference for a smartphone (62 per cent) over a bulkier tablet, although ownership of tablets had grown from 7 per cent to 26 per cent in a year. “The study shows that younger and older children have different priorities when it comes to connected devices,” said Ofcom.