Teens Prefer Mobiles to TV - Survey

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Survey results released today from ACE COMM indicate most North American parents aren't supervising the mobile phone use of their teenaged children. Seventy one percent of teenagers surveyed admit they enjoy unrestricted use of their mobile phones. The online survey conducted for ACE COMM by Itracks polled 1000 teens across North America between the ages of 13 and 18 from July 30 to August 9 2005.

The Itracks survey also found that many teenagers are abusing their mobile phone privileges. More than one-third (38%) of teens surveyed use their mobile phones to text-message their friends during school, 30% play video games on their phones while in school, and more than one-quarter (26%) use their phones to talk to people their parents would not approve of. The survey also revealed that on average, teens spend almost as much time on their mobile phones as they spend doing physical activity.

"In a recent survey of tween parents, nearly two thirds said they had concerns about giving a mobile phone to their under-12 children," said Iain Gillott, president of iGillottResearch, a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "Many of those concerns can be addressed by enabling parents to control and monitor their child's wireless usage. For the mobile operators to successfully market mobile services to kids, we believe that the parents will have to be involved in their child's wireless experience."

"While mobile handsets now being marketed directly to young kids do limit the numbers that can be called, you won't catch a teenager carrying a Mickey Mouse phone," says Chris Couch, Chief Marketing Officer for ACE*COMM. "Nor can these phones restrict the time of day when the phone is used. Parent Patrol(TM) can be used with regular phones and the limits are easy to modify so parents can loosen the rules during summer holidays, for example, and tighten them during exam times."

According to the survey, teens are very attached to their mobile phones. Fully one half of those surveyed said they would rather have their TV privileges restricted than their mobile phone use, while more than a quarter (27%) indicated they would prefer to have Web access or use of iPods limited rather than have their mobile phones taken away."

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