Survey: 10 percent of UK under-10s have an iPhone; a third have a cell phone

kid using smartphoneThere was a time when little kids used to talk into toy phones to imaginary friends. Now it seems that they have real phones with Internet access and pay-as-you-go payment plans.

According to the results of a survey released this week, 10 percent of UK children under the age of 10 have their own iPhone, while a third have a cell phone. Five percent even have their own iPad.

Of the parents questioned in the survey, 10 percent said they felt it was OK for children as young four-years-old to have their own cell phone.

The study was conducted by cloud security firm Westcoastcloud to coincide with the release of its new Netintelligence iPad app, an internet security product for schools.

The survey, which questioned 2,000 families with children aged 10 or below about technology ownership, also revealed that 16 percent of kids have their own laptop. A quarter of those aged under 10 had their own email address, while 8 percent were signed up to a social networking service – which is interesting as Facebook, for example, stipulates that users of its service must be aged 13 or older.

Regarding cell phone ownership, 68 percent of parents said they got their kids a device primarily so that they could keep in touch with them when they were out, though Westcoastcloud also said that “17 percent of parents bought their kids a phone after they succumbed to their child’s pestering.”

Westcoastcloud’s Bill Strain commented on the survey’s findings, saying: “It’s great that youngsters are interested and engaged with the latest technology, but children owning their own phones as young as four does seem unnecessary.”

On a cautionary note, he added: “Kids will always be able to gain access to their parents’ phones and laptops but when primary school age children gain access to the Internet on these devices, parents need to be aware. There’s the potential that they could access unsuitable or potentially harmful content.”

Over 5 percent of parents said they didn’t check what their child was looking at on their cell phone and estimated that their offspring spent around three hours a week online, using phones, computers or other devices. Surprisingly, half of those surveyed said they had no parental controls installed on their Internet-connected devices.

As part of a new Communications Act being planned by the UK government, broadband providers there may soon be forced to offer parents ways of protecting their children from harmful online content.

[Image courtesy of niderlander/Shutterstock]

Product Review

With sapphire glass and analog dials, you'd never know this watch is smart

The world of hybrid smartwatches is getting much larger, and the latest comes from a name with history — New York Standard Watches. In our NYSW GTS Activity Tracker review, we find out what makes this watch special, and why we were so…
Smart Home

Alexa’s top skills of 2018 are here to assist you in any way you can imagine

Amazon announced the Alexa Skills of the Year 2018, a collection of 24 skills Amazon's Alexa team considers the top skills for games, family fun, wellness, and daily habits. Amazon also encourages everyone to create their own skills.

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?

Scientists have charged a phone and a Fitbit with solar-powered clothes

Scientists from Britain's Nottingham Trent University have discovered a way to incorporate solar panels into clothing, and they've even managed to charge a phone and Fitbit with the energy created.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates have been a disaster despite safeguards

After a string of Windows 10 update issues, including severe data loss for a number of users, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Windows, Michael Fortin, has spoken out about quality control surrounding Windows development at…

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Which smartphone manufacturers won and lost in 2018

As the curtain comes down on 2018, we take a look at the big successes and failures in the smartphone market over the last 12 months. Which phone maker had the best year, and who had a year to forget?

The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT packs the most RAM ever seen in a smartphone

The next generation of smartphones has begun, and it's begun with a bang. The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT comes with the next generation Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge display

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is perfect for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.

Fitbit supercharges its smartwatches with its new 3.0 operating system

Fitbit announced a new software update for the Versa and Ionic, called Fitbit OS 3.0. The new OS will allow for things like on-device daily views, as well as 10 new third-party apps on the watch.

Google’s Gboard keyboard app reaches 500 languages in just two years

In December 2016, Google launched Gboard with support for an already-impressive 100 languages. Since then, however, Google has added a hefty 400 languages to the software keyboard, bringing the total number to 500.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Walmart’s $100 discount on 2018 iPad is one of the best we’ve seen yet

The 2018 iPad is one of the best tablets we've ever seen and the tablet we recommend to the vast majority of users. Now, Walmart is offering one of the best deals so far on the device: $100 off the 32GB space gray version.
Social Media

Twitter makes it easier than ever to switch between latest and top tweets

Twitter has finally delivered on its promise to give users more control over their timeline. It comes in the form of a new button on the main screen that lets you switch between two different kinds of tweets.