An average of 12 downloaded apps are currently on mobile devices used by kids
According to Kids and Apps: A New Era of Play, the latest report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, there are an average of 12 apps on mobile devices that kids have access to, with 88 percent of those apps being acquired for free.
According to the report, children spend approximately five days a week using mobile devices such as a smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch, with an average session generally lasting just under one hour.
Though there are a multitude of activities that can be done with these mobile devices, with an average of 6.5 gaming applications on a device, gaming is by far the most popular type of app used by children, followed by listening to or downloading music, and taking pictures.
Gender also plays a role in app usage, with boys being significantly more likely to be game players than girls (87 percent vs. 80 percent), while girls are more diversified in the apps they use on a device and are likely to have more types of apps than boys.
"The wide variety and sheer volume of free entertainment content available for app devices is clearly having an impact on kids and the way they play," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "While there are a number of engaging and entertaining apps available to kids, many are used and abandoned after a short time, so it's important to get a clear, factual picture of the role that apps are playing in kids' lives."
App Purchasing and Purchase Intent
While gaming applications are the apps most frequently paid for (35 percent) followed closely by educational game and movie apps, most of the apps downloaded to devices are free. Even those apps that are purchased are relatively inexpensive.
When it comes to allowing their child to use a device, those who don't own but are planning to purchase a device are more likely to be influenced to do so by a number of factors. Aside from free games, those planning to purchase say they would be influenced by unlimited data from their carrier and the availability of more educational apps.
Those who already own a device but don't let their child use it would allow their child to do so if more educational apps were available or if the devices were durable enough to withstand the child's use.
An online survey was fielded from March 6-21, 2012, to a representative sample of male and female adults ages 18 and over whom are members of NPD's online panel and have children ages 2 to 14 in the household. Parents of very young children were asked to complete the survey on behalf of their child, while parents of older children were asked to either have the child answer the survey or join them while answering the survey. Respondents with more than one child in the specified age range were instructed to answer for a randomly selected child. The study is based on 2,502 completed surveys. Final data is weighted to US Census metrics and is representative of kids age 2 to 14.