iPad: Tech Toy of Choice for Children Poses Big Challenges

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seeing a huge opportunity in the 6-12 year old market. iPads have become increasingly popular with children, and iPads are the number one holiday gift requested by 6-12 year olds for the second year in a row. Not only are the tablet producers relishing in the demand of this young demographic, but software producers specializing in children’s apps are also booming.

This audience is not without its challenges. The first major concern is pricing the iPad at a price that parents can swallow. Let’s face it, any possession of a kid is at high risk to be lost or damaged in its relatively brief lifetime, so the $499 iPad price tag might be too much for parents to swallow. This could be a possible niche for the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire at a friendly $199.

Second, there’s concern that children are spending too much time in front of technology and parents are using technology as babysitters for their children. Bloomberg quotes Victoria Nash, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute who said some parents use gadgets as a “digital pacifier.”

Being exposed to tablets at a young age is changing the way that children will experience technology for the rest of their lives. Tom Mainelli, an analyst for Framingham, said, “The iPad will be many children’s first experience with a computer, a phenomenon that will affect the design of future consumer electronics,” per Bloomberg. “The generation that is growing up with touch is going to demand it on all their devices going forward.”