Smartphones are expensive items. While you can pick one up for a few hundred dollars, they're heading more frequently towards $1000 each, with some exceeding that already. To save money on these mini computers, people are linking phones together on family plans, with older children — even those in 31-years-old and up — wrangling to remain on their parents bill too.
So says a new report from phone service Visible, which surveyed 1,884 U.S. consumers ages 18 and up in March about mobile family plans and how they believe these offers save people money.
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Elementary children getting phones
While middle and high students getting smartphones is not unusual, Visible found that children as young as 5-years-old were getting phones too, with 25 percent of consumers giving these devices to kids between the ages of 5 and 13.
Once they're on the plans, these kids are staying on as well — and in no rush to get off. Nearly half of all consumers surveyed said they have their children on the plans, 39 percent have children between the ages of 22 and 30 on too, with 17 percent keeping their kids on even past the age of 31.
Money savings is the key reason, with 33 percent saying they would leave if they could find a plan that would save them money, and 16 percent saying they would actually wait to make that decision until they got married or moved in with someone special.
Family plan favorites
While savings — particularly for children — is a top reason people use family plans, others say that paying one bill is a highlight too, with 28 percent also citing unlimited talk, text and data as their main reason for having a family plan. Just 1 percent mention extras like HD video or high-quality streaming.
That doesn't mean other perks wouldn't be welcome. When asked what kind of free gifts they'd like to see, nearly a quarter of consumers mentioned an American Express gift card or a complementary subscription for Hulu or Amazon Prime. Others asked for unlimited mobile hotspots, unlimited phone lines, with just 6 percent asking for unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi service.