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New Survey Shows Half of US High Schoolers Own a Tablet or Smartphone

Tablet ownership is exploding in the US, with surveys showing twice as many US consumers reported having one after the last holiday season as before. But one detail lacking from most all those surveys is the teenaged user.

I have been wondering for some time now how prevalent tablet ownership was among the next generation, and thanks to a new report from Project Tomorrow we now know.

The report shows that nearly half of high school students in the US own or use a tablet or smartphone, and that nearly as many middle-schoolers also own or use a smartphone or tablet.The data is drawn from a survey of 416,000 educators, parents and kids and it reflects a 400% increase in mobile device usage.

There was also a corresponding increase in how parents viewed mobile devices. Speaking as someone who can recall when educators said only drug dealers would need a pager, I am startled to learn that 27% are considering allowing students to use mobile devices at schools. What’s more, 62% of parents indicated that they might buy their kid a mobile device – just so long as it would be sued for school and other academic pursuits.

This, folks, is the environment into which Apple launched the iPad Mini. This is an excellent opportunity to sell more tablets, and while some might argue that it is a sign that Apple might have missed the timing, I disagree. This report shows that here’s an awful lot of kids in the US with parents who might get their kids a tablet but will balk at the $500 price tag of the iPad. Given the hype surrounding the iPad they are almost certain to go for the slightly cheaper and smaller iPad Mini.

But it is a pity that Amazon missed the new-school year buying frenzy; at least they’ll have Christmas.

P.S. You might recall a Pew report from earlier this week which shows that 11% of teens have a tablet. I’m sure you wonder why that statistic was so different from what I reported above. Simple: The Pew report is based on a survey from last November and December. It is a little out of date.

Speak Up via Ed Tech Times

image by flickingerbrad

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monopole October 25, 2012 um 3:12 pm

I’d add that over 50% of American Adults own a car OR a jet and this is very good news for Gulfstream!

Xyzzy October 25, 2012 um 8:54 pm

I’d like to know how those numbers break down in socioeconomic terms, as since the tablet-type devices are evidently extremely helpful for kids with certain disabilities, even transformative at times based on the evidence I’ve been seeing. The troubling implication is that since the devices are far more available (in schools & economically speaking) for kids in/near upper-middle class than the less-affluent ones, the high percentage** of kids like that in our society now could make that new digital divide become a big problem.

**Technically not a higher percentage when it comes to kids with learning or developmental conditions, but the structure/expectations of school & society in past generations let the vast majority of them either fare well academically and/or make a good living doing other work that suited them.

Besides, given I still don’t have either kind of device yet at 35 years old, I’ll feel better if I read that the more affluent kids are making up 85% (or similar) of the teens with one, rather than it being teenagers in general being that far ahead of me.

Gender-skewed books – what do you think? | Booka Uhu's Book Nook October 19, 2013 um 9:44 pm

[…] yes, with the rise of eReading and now the news on popular blog The Digital Reader that almost 50% of US high school students either have a tablet or smartphone, I wonder how long it’ll be before we gets kids reading across the gender divide? Should I […]

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