Seventy-one percent of households with a child age 4-14 reported owning a smartphone in 2014, up from 55% in 2012, according to NPD Group. Furthermore, incidence of ownership of media tablets has reportedly doubled between 2012 and 2014, growing from 21% to 43%, respectively. Among those with kids in the household, 35% said that their child uses a smartphone, up from 21% in 2012. For media tablets, the figure was 31%, up from 13% in 2012.

Personal ownership of consumer electronic devices among children age 4-14 slightly bucks the trend the data have shown thus far, in that portable devices were the only device group to exhibit steady increases in ownership among the children themselves. Rather than growing, incidence of personal ownership of cell phones, including traditional cell phones and smartphones, reportedly held steady at 19% in 2014.

The main reason cited by consumers for purchasing a consumer electronic device from any retailer is pricing; it is a particularly important consideration among those who purchased from mass merchants. Sales support/services as a reason for purchase reportedly becomes more meaningful to consumers who purchased from electronic/specialty retailers. In most instances, regardless of the device, pricing, technology, and features dominate the decision making.

“Technology devices are as much staples for American families as traditional toys, perhaps more so considering their ability to engage with almost any member of the family,” said Juli Lennett, president, Toys division, The NPD Group. “Marketing smartphones and tablets for family use, rather than the traditional primary user, and offering pricing and payment options to meet the needs of families, will engage this audience even further.”

For more information, visit