It looks like verbal communication is passé for kids of all ages, who are opting for text messaging and sending photos instead, according to the fifth volume of Kids & Consumer Electronics, the most recent report from market researcher The NPD Group.
Text messaging has exploded in popularity with the younger crowd surveyed (between the ages of four and 14) over the last five years, with 46% using cell phones for the activity in 2009. Girls are also more likely than boys to use cell phones and laptops, according to the report.
As for other usage of CE devices, TVs and computers are still the top two for kids, though NPD has noted a shift from standard to HD TVs, and from desktop computers to laptops.
Kids also seem to have a wide array of CE devices to choose from, as the households with kids between the ages of four and14 own an average of 11 of the devices measured. Even with that number, one-third of parents still plan to buy a CE device for their child in the coming year, with some reporting that the younger kids will be getting educational learning toys and the kids at the older end of the spectrum can expect cell phones and digital cameras.
Their usage of personal digital music players (PDMP), laptops, digital cameras and cell phones continues to grow, with 37% of kids use a PDMP this year, as compared to only 6% in 2005.
Industry analyst Anita Frazier remarks that content – particularly digital content – will be the key driver in continuing the growth of the kids CE market, and opens up more opps to distribute that digital content.