Chartbuster: A World Gone Mobile

According to a recent survey conducted by research group NPD, most households own a mobile device in some form, with children becoming increasingly tech savvy. Does this open the category to more product opportunities than ever before?

Eight in 10 own at least one type of device, with smart devices being most prevalent.

According to the latest study from The NPD Group, 79 percent of parents with children ages 2 to 14 report that they or their children own some type of mobile device such as a traditional cell phone, smartphone or tablet (up from 63 percent last year).

One year ago, NPD conducted this study for the first time and found that fewer than half of the families surveyed were smart device capable, with only about a third of children using a tablet or smartphone. This year's survey update reveals that 51 percent of children are now using smart devices and nearly 40 percent of the kids represented in the survey are considered a primary user of these devices.

Evolving technology is fueling the proliferation of smart devices with a precipitous increase in year-over-year ownership rates.

The number of activities children engage in on their smart devices is increasing, but playing games using gaming apps remains the favorite type (87 percent). Gaming apps remain the most popular type of apps among children ages 2 to 14 using any smart device but, unlike last year, boys no longer edge out girls in use; females are now equally as likely to use gaming apps as boys.

Also noteworthy: there is a modest disruption of traditional play patterns, more so for video games than other forms of entertainment, but there has been little impact on traditional toys. Children who use smart devices are just as likely to play with vehicles, plush toys, action figures, construction/building sets or dolls as children in households that don't own a smart device. Kids who regularly use smart devices and those who don't are spending more of their recreational time doing non-organized activities and sports. Most parents feel their children's device usage hasn't affected how much time they spend doing other activities.

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