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JupiterResearch: Age Of Cellphone Adopters Is Dropping

6/08/2007 11:16:00 AM Eastern

New York — Tween and teen cellphone subscribers are expected to outpace that of the overall U.S. population according to a new report from JupiterResearch, a research firm that studies the effects that the Web and emerging consumer technologies have on business.

The report, “Mobile Subscriber Acquisition: Marketing to Parents, Teens and Tweens,” studied the data habits of tweens and teens and found that the groups to be a potentially lucrative segment for wireless carriers and mobile content players.

The firm expects tween cellphone adoption to grow “dramatically” in the next 12 months according to a release. Citing data from parents, it predicted that nearly one-half of children between the ages of 12-13 and one-third of children ages 10-11 will have cellphones by the end of 2007.

The leading contributors to the growth, according to the findings, were safety, or a parent’s desire to easily reach their child, and cost, which is often being driven down by free phone incentives and the availability of family payment plans.

“Cellphone ownership is extending to ever-younger children as prices drop and carriers look to add subscribers in a market where adult penetration rates are closing in on their long-term maximum,” said JupiterResearch’s VP and research director, Julie Ask.

While cellphone adoption rates may be trending upward among young people in general, the group did report that it found many parents were reluctant to add children younger than 10 to their family phone plans because they found it “unnecessary.”

“Mobile communications may be gaining wider acceptance, but it’s clear there is still a line that consumers, especially parents of younger children, aren’t quite ready to cross,” said the firm’s president, David Schatsky.

For the complete report, visit www.jupiterresearch.com or click here for details on the methodology employed when creating this report.

On a similar note, The NPD Group released report this week called “Kids and Consumer Electronics Trends III” that found children begin using consumer electronics devices at an average age of 6.7 years old.