It might not come as a surprise to parents with children at the age of 15 or below, but for the rest of us a new study published by Ofcom shows children discarding desktop PCs, laptops, consoles and even TV’s in favor of mobile phones and tablets.

The charts below shows data polled from Ofcom asking parents of children between the age of 3-15 how their children interact with the various devices and media providers.

Among some of the more interesting charts are the one below, showing the fast decline of TV’s, going from 81% to just 57% in a matter of 9 years for children ages 12-15.

In fact, all the devices polled are showing a decline – lending support to the statement that mobiles and tablets are the primary choice for children.


Among the extensive survey is the graph below, and deciphering the chart tells us that in 5 short years laptops & netbooks have gone from being the dominant device with an average use rate of 55% to now just holding at around 19%.

Furthermore, the same trend could be said to be true for desktop computers, shrinking nearly 100% yearly since 2011.


Even more obvious this trend becomes when looking at the devices they use for interacting on the social media, and to quote Ben Evans from a tweet of his:

Forget about mobile-first. Build mobile-native and mobile-only

Surely for businesses wanting to reach this target demographic, the smartphones and tablets are going to be key devices, perhaps even the only devices worth focusing on according to Ben.


Of particular interest is the fact that in the chart above, laptops and desktop computers have been combined, and still only manage a measly 13% for ages 8-11 and a negligible 8% for children aged 12-15.

The chart below shows the answers to what device the children would miss the most, comparing the answers from last year to this year only.

Once again we see on the graph below that children wouldn’t mind giving up their TV’s, laptops or desktop computers in favor of a tablet or smartphone, with radios and MP3 players becoming ever more irrelevant altogether.


While it’s impossible to say whether this trend will continue, both in terms of children of the future, and with regards to changing habits as the children grow older and more technically inclined, the data from Ofcom shows a huge shift in the devices mostly used, and we even see TV’s becoming relegated to go the route of DVD players for instance.

For anyone involved in developing software, designing games or otherwise targeting children from the age of 3 and upwards, consider whether you need to spend time at all designing for desktops and laptops.

And at the very least, for the professionally interested, it could pay to keep an eye on the next coming years of data, as we could see desktops go the route of VHS players, minidiscs, and walkmen.