Do Kids Need New Phones for Back to School? Most Parents Say No
In our hyper-connected world, choosing when—or whether—to get your child a smartphone is an important and increasingly difficult decision.
In a recent PCMag survey of 2,500 US consumers, we asked parents whether they think their children need new phones for school. Sixty-four percent of respondents said no, they don't believe they need to buy kids new phones for this upcoming school year.
Thirty percent of respondents disagreed with the assertion that kids should have a new phone when going back to school, and 34 percent strongly disagreed. Twenty-eight percent were in the middle, neither agreeing nor disagreeing.
Only a small percentage of respondents felt a new smartphone for kids is a must. Five percent agreed, and 3 percent strongly agreed.
Mobile phones for kids have a long history. But in an era when screen time is an ever-present concern for parents, we're beginning to see more devices and experience designed to keep kids out of the house and off screens.
The Republic Wireless Relay smartphone, for instance, is a walkie-talkie-like device with no display by design. On the software side, Apple and Google have gotten pressure from parents, shareholders, and advocacy groups to improve their experiences for kids. Both are adding better parental controls and screen-time tracking features to help children and adults quantify and control how much time they're spending online.