Parents are spending hundreds of pounds on gadget gifts this Christmas, but many still won’t be able to afford shiny high-tech devices their children crave.
Generous parents plan to shell out an average of £225 on gadget alone this year, while more than a quarter (26%) have budgeted for a gadget spend of £300 or more, a uSwitch survey reveals.
However, despite that outlay almost four in ten (39%) of parents polled said they won’t be able to afford the gadget their kids most want to find their in stockings.
And while close to one in three (32%) are assured their kids know that the high price of brand-new, high-end gizmos means they might not get exactly what they want, one in six (15%) admitted they’re worried their children will be disappointed with their haul on the big day.
Video games were the most popular gadget gift, with 38% of parents planning to buy a game or games for their kids. Just behind them were tablets (34%), seemingly belying claims from trend-watchers that tablets aren’t the big draw they were a few years ago.
Smartphones are on just under 20% of parents’ to-buy lists, but E-readers (8.1%) and digital cameras (9%) are falling out of favour.
||% parents who will buy this gadget for their kids this Christmas
|Tablet (e.g. iPad)
|Games console accessories (e.g. headset, controller)
|Phone accessories (e.g. case, screen protector)
|MP3 player (e.g. iPod)
|E-Reader (e.g. Kindle)
|Basic mobile phone
Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Clementines and lumps of coal simply won’t cut it with the youth of today.
“If it doesn’t need charging, they probably won’t want it. I jest, of course, but our research does suggest Santa Claus’s sleigh will be high voltage this year.”
Doku added: “Fortunately for parents who are feeling the pinch, gadget gifts don’t have to cost the earth. Entry-level tablets can be bought for under £100 – and an 8GB Amazon Fire costs just £50.
“Smartphones cost less if you can find a refurb, and just as thrifty is opting for an older model. Apple’s latest phone, the iPhone 6s, costs from £35 per month including a ‘free’ phone on a pay-monthly contract, versus £24.99 per month for the older iPhone 5s.”
In news that that suggests the traditional family Christmas day spent huddled around the sitting-room TV is alive and well, the study also found that more than half of parents (53%) will limit the time children can play with their gadgets over the holidays.
However, perhaps in search of a quiet life, nearly one in three (30%) will allow their kids to spend more than three hours a day playing with their gadgets, while 15% will permit them over five hours of gadget-time per day.