Sunday 18 March 2018

Girls 'bigger smartphone users than boys'

By Shane Richmond

GIRLS are bigger smartphone users than boys, according to new research into children's technology habits.

Girls aged between seven and 15 are more likely to own a smartphone than boys and 45pc of girls say they use a smartphone every day, compared with 35pc of boys.

As well as smartphones, girls are more likely than boys to own MP3 players and laptop computers, research from Mintel has found. Boys are more likely to own desktop computers, however.

"Where there is a difference, it's because boys tend to go for the big ticket items," said Samuel Gee, a technology analyst at Mintel.

He said that girls were more likely to use smartphones than boys because girls tended to be drawn to gadgets that promote communication and collaboration, while boys prefer entertainment devices.

Just 14 per cent of children aged between seven and 15 say that they never use a smartphone, Mintel found, though younger children were less likely to use them.

While laptops and desktops were present in most children's homes (88pc and 66pc respectively), tablets (32pc) and e-readers (25pc were less common. Laptops tended to be present in the home regardless of family income levels, while smartphones were more likely to be found in high income homes.

Half of all parents surveyed said they thought it was important for their children to learn how to use new technology.

Mr Gee said the research showed that parents were using more technology with their children. Two thirds of parents said they had used technology to look up information about their child's favourite show, book or characters and a similar percentage said they had played games with their children.

Parents were most likely to use a laptop of desktop computer with their children.

However, not all activities are being taken over by technology. Mr Gee said the research suggests parents still prefer paper books for reading with children.

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