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.
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