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This definitely wouldn't fit in my pocket

With the average age of a child getting their first phone falling from 12 to six in 10 years, kids discuss phones of yesteryear

Posted by Hannah Vickers | January 12, 2017 | Primary

Can you imagine a world without smartphones? To mark the 140th anniversary of the invention of the phone, online smartphone retailer Mobiles.co.uk has spoken to parents and primary school children to see how today’s ‘tech generation’ is benefiting from the latest innovations, and what they think phones of the future will be able to do. 

Mobiles.co.uk began by asking 2,000 UK parents how they felt about their offspring’s tech skills. The data revealed that over half of parents (51%) rely on their children to inform them about the latest phones or gadgets, and 40% credit their child/children with having a far greater understanding of how to use technology than they do. 

Over a third of respondents (37%) believe that technology helps their child/children to learn quicker, which could be one of the reasons why the average age that a child receives their first phone has dropped significantly in recent years.

The average age of receiving their first phone:

  • Born in 1990; 16
  • Born in 1995; 13
  • Born in 2000; 12
  • Born in 2005; 9
  • Born in 2010; 6

Susan Tarrant, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Derby, said “Devices such as tablets and phones have changed our way of thinking about where children learn because it now allows learning to take place in different and diverse locations

 

92% of children prefer playing on a phone or tablet to participating in a traditional game

“Having that freedom to experiment, play or take risks are essential for creative learning and can have a positive effect on the learners’ self-esteem. In 1983, Steve Jobs stated that he wanted to put a computer into a portable book; one which you could learn how to use in 20 minutes and do something extraordinary with. This is now a reality!”  

So what do kids really think of today’s smartphones, and the iconic phones of bygone eras?  Mobiles.co.uk gathered a selection of handsets - from a candlestick to a Blackberry – and asked a group of school children aged 7-10, about their age, features and names.

Amongst the many entertaining inaccuracies imparted, the children cited ‘1920s’ as the decade when the Motorola Razr and Nokia 3310 were first launched, and suggested that the antenna on the Nokia 8110 (released in 1996) was for ‘better wifi’.

 

When asked what the phone of the future may be able to do, several of the children suggested ‘teleportation’ and ‘hologram chat’. ‘Invisibility’ was the leading visual feature. 

Andrew Cartledge, Mobile Expert at Mobiles.co.uk, said: “Today’s kids are growing up surrounded by fantastic, new technology - they simply can’t imagine a world without phones - and their expectations of tomorrow’s handsets are incredibly ambitious. 

“What is great is that parents are encouraging this interest, and seeing it as a positive thing both in learning and play.”  

Inspired by the future phone predictions, Mobiles.co.uk has launched a competition inviting children to share a drawing of the next must-have handset, and explain its key features and potential price. A panel of expert judges will shortlist the top five, before revealing the overall winner (who will receive a tech bundle) in February 2017. Entries can be submitted via: www.mobiles.co.uk/phone-of-the-future until 31.1.17

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