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Four in ten parents can’t afford child’s gadget of choice this Christmas

Four in ten parents can’t afford child’s gadget of choice this Christmas

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.

Gadget Type % parents who will buy this gadget for their kids this Christmas
Video games 38.1%
Tablet (e.g. iPad) 34.0%
Games console 24.2%
Games console accessories (e.g. headset, controller) 22.5%
Smartphone 19.9%
Laptop 15.1%
Phone accessories (e.g. case, screen protector) 13.5%
MP3 player (e.g. iPod) 10.8%
Digital camera 9.2%
TV 9.0%
E-Reader (e.g. Kindle) 8.1%
Smartwatch 7.3%
Smart TV 6.7%
PC 5.4%
Basic mobile phone 5.3%

Ernest Doku, technology expert at, 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.

Category: News
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