Mobile phone carriers across North America believe that the ‘teenager’ market is reaching its peak. So what next? Why, target the next age bracket of course. The tween generation, children aged 8 to 11 years old, is the next ‘apple of the eye’ for mobile carriers.
According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency or KOTRA, the tween market is expected to grow and as such is poised to satisfy the needs of parents (who are seeking ways to easily communicate with their young children) and cell phone carriers (who are eagerly seeking other sources of revenue).
As a case in point, Walt Disney has recently teamed up with Sprint to bring to market Disney Mobile banking, of course on the popularity of Disney amongst youngsters as a way to enter the tween market.
Canadian mobile carriers seem to think this is a great idea. Bell Canada launched the Kitty Phone, a cat-shaped cell phone that can only memorize five numbers. Rogers Communications on the other hand, intends to launch in August 2005 a mini cell phone called Firefly that fits children’s small hands.
So will venturing into the tween market pay off? We’ll see, but it does pose some questionable health risks. Young developing minds can be affected by the wireless frequencies. According to a study titled “Nerve cell damage in mammalian brain after exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones“, evidence of neuronal damage in the cortex, hippocampus, and basal ganglia was found in the brains of exposed rats (very similar to those of teenagers) after only 2 hours of exposure to mobile phone electromagnetic fields of different strengths.