Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tweens Cell Phone Use

Business Week has an article up about the growing use of cell phone amoung tweens.

From the article:

"The wireless market for "tweens" -- children between the ages of 8 and 12 -- has the potential to double by 2010, according to the Yankee Group, an industry researcher. This market currently has 5.3 million wireless users, accounting for 2.6% of all wireless subscribers. Wireless providers and others see a huge, untapped opportunity.

With overall market saturation, companies are now targeting what they see as the underpenetrated tween market segment. And while it's no surprise that the likes of Verizon and Cingular are in the fray, some names outside the telecom arena are making their mark. Disney (DIS) and Hasbro (HAS) are among the companies designing cellular phones, tailoring plans, and introducing electronic gadgets that are kid- and parent-friendly.

The Firefly, which is offered by Cingular, is a smaller phone that comes with five large buttons instead of the usual numerical keypad. It only makes and receives calls, and has no text messaging or other special features. Disney and Hasbro are also adapting cell phones to meet kids' needs. Disney, in a deal with Sprint, plans to offer wireless services directed at 8- to 12-year-olds, with its Disney Mobile phone."

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