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Smartphones top back-to-school gadgets

Smartphones top the list of back to school gadgets, as children as young as six will be heading to the classroom with a new phone

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | August 20, 2014 | Technology

A new study has found that a smartphone is the number one back to school gadget in the UK for children 15 years and under.

The findings reveal that school student’s needs are shifting toward tech products that provide the latest features in communication, mobility and convenience.

The survey commissioned by, quizzed 2,870 parents with children aged 15 years or under about their back to school buying habits.

Smartphones dominated the study, with 59% of parents revealing they planned to buy their child a mobile phone ahead of the new school year. Tablets (22%), laptops (10%) and MP3 players (6%) were also high on the list of prospective purchases.

An overwhelming majority of 96% will be purchasing a smartphone as opposed to a phone that doesn't have apps or full internet access, and 75% of parents will opt for a contract phone as opposed to pay as you go.

Child safety was the main reason for buying a mobile phone (68%) but some parents (12%) believe a smartphone would help with homework and organisation.

“We truly live in the smartphone generation so it’s no real surprise that children are getting their hands on mobile devices ahead of a new school year,” said Brandon Ackroyd, Head of Customer Insight at Tiger Mobiles.

He added: “There's of course a big debate about whether a child needs a smartphone at that age but I think we’re past that. It’s happening and I don't think there's much anyone can say or do to change that.”

One area of concern for Ackroyd however was the money parents are spending on handsets. “We are seeing more and more parents splash the cash on high end smartphones when they really don’t need to. Even a heavy smartphone user rarely uses an iPhone to its full potential so for a child at primary school it is complete overkill. 

“I'd always point parents in the direction of cheaper handsets and also opt for pay as you go over a pay monthly deal. It's a good way of teaching children financial control and budgeting from a young age.”

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