This week Toys R Us announced that it would launch a tablet designed specifically for kids. The idea of tablets for children isn’t new. Over the past several years we’ve seen all sorts of companies enter this market and some of these tablets are pretty impressive. The Nabi has excellent tech specs (twice the computing power of my first desktop) and is a rugged piece of hardware meant to stand up to temper tantrums and exceptionally dirty little fingers.
While the price for mobile hardware has been declining steadily, these kids-only tablets are still priced from $150-$200. When you consider that only 16% of US households owned tablets in March 2012, the latest statistics available, you have to wonder who’s buying these kids-only tablets?
There are really only two possibilities:
1) They are being purchased by families that already have a tablet.
2) They are being purchased by families that don’t own a tablet, i.e. a kids-only tablet is the first device a family buys.
Let’s consider each of the potential kid’s tablet customers mentioned above.
The Multi-Tablet Family
Remember, only 16% of US households own a tablet computer. Even if we assume that figure is much greater today than it was in March 2012, that’s a relatively small proportion of the population. It’s not clear how many of these households actually buy a second tablet, but when a family does, the parents tend to buy a new device and pass the old one down to the kids.
But who has hundreds or thousands of dollars in discretionary income to make sure they always have the latest device? These potential multi-tablet households tend to make more than $100,000 per year.
The No Tablet Family
Let’s assume that you’re among the 84% of US households that doesn’t own a tablet computer. You’re thinking about buying one and you’ve got lots of options. The previous generation iPad starts at $399 and the newer version starts at $499. These products are clearly out of the reach of many family budgets.
The premium, 10 inch android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 are equally pricey.
So, for most people considering buying a tablet today there are just a few choices with the most obvious being the Nexus 7 ($200), and the Kindle Fire ($159). These tablets are roughly the same price as a good kids-only tablet.
As a price conscious consumer I want to get the best deal for my money. When you’re buying a tablet that means getting something that’s useful for all the potential users in the family. A full-featured tablet will meet the needs of parents and teens, but a parent with younger kids will likely be attracted to the features that make kids-only tablets so appealing – parental controls, content curation, and an environment free from objectionable material and unauthorized purchases.
This leaves you in a bit of a pickle: do you sacrifice your own desires to buy the kids-only tablet, or do you forego the excellent features of kids-only tablets in favor of greater functionality?
The $5 Solution
It certainly makes sense for some families to purchase kid’s-only tablets, and they’re undoubtedly useful in elementary schools, preschools and day care facilities. But, kids-only tablets don’t make economic sense for lots of people – at least not yet.
Luckily, Famigo delivers the best of both worlds. Parents can choose the android tablet that best suits their needs and then for $4.99 can get the full functionality of a kid’s tablet by downloading the Famigo Sandbox.
And for those multi-tablet households who are planning on upgrading their tablet; don’t let the old one collect dust. Install the Famigo Sandbox and turn your old tablet into a dedicated device for your children. You’ll save at least $145 and have the piece of mind that comes with excellent parental controls.
Not convinced yet? Check out our free trial and find out for yourself.
Famigo’s goal is simple: Make mobile technology work for families.
And when we say that we mean all families; not just the ones whose living rooms look like electronics stores. That’s why we developed the Famigo Sandbox as a tool to make sure that your hard earned money goes as far as possible – and that the excellent educational resources available through your mobile device find their way into your child’s hands.
A native of Scranton, PA, Matt holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Colgate University, an MBA from the College of Charleston, and is currently a JD candidate at the University of Texas School of Law. With a varied past as an Outward Bound sailing instructor, elementary school teacher and non-profit administrator, Matt does a little bit of everything at Famigo. Follow Matt on Twitter @mmmcdonnell