How old should kids be when they get their first iPhone, iPad, or MacBook?

Rob Marvin for PC Magazine:

PCMag surveyed 1,000 parents with children in grades ranging from preschool to college to gauge when they think is the right time to buy their kids a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and smart speaker. For smartphones, the majority (53 percent) of parents said age 12 to 15 is appropriate for kids to get their own phone. Another 23 percent said ages 9 to 11, and 17 percent said not until ages 16 to 18.

Parents were far more divided on tablets. While 27 percent said they prefer ages 9 to 11 to give kids a tablet, 26 percent felt ages 6 to 8 were appropriate, and 23 percent chose ages 12 to 15. For 14 percent of parents, even ages 3 to 5 isn’t too early, whereas the last 10 percent said they didn’t think a tablet would be appropriate until ages 16 to 18…

Another recent survey found that one in five parents would leave their kids home alone with Alexa. Yet in our survey, 39 percent of parents said they wouldn’t want their child to get a smart speaker until ages 16 to 18, and 27 percent said not until ages 12 to 15.

MacDailyNews Take: Let try this here for iPhone specifically:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Our grandson was given a hand-me-down iPhone when he was around 7. The primary use was for him to cary when he was playing with the kids in the neighborhood – it made it easy to call and tell him to come home for dinner. It was also assuring that he know how to call home from anywhere if a problem came up.

  2. I gave my daughter my old “iPhone” when she was 5– maybe even 4. Quotes, because it’s not connected to cell service— so basically an iPod touch. I don’t think cell service is appropriate for kids until 12-15. iPhone as a device, though, fine even for preschoolers. Wonder how survey responses would be different if questions reflected this distinction.

  3. I am ten so you may not read this but I think many kids should get an iPad before they get an iPhone or anything more. My sister was five when she got an iPad but we deleted the internet app and we never told her about her email account until some of her friends started getting emails too.
    I don’t have an iPhone yet, but I think end of fourth grade or mid fifth grade is a good time to get one. However, some parents like to wait until their kids are in middle school and they are assigned a chrome book. Also, if you are a parent who is not sure when to get your child a device of their own because you don’t want them to have the internet yet, don’t start with a chrome book, laptop, or MacBook. So overall, ages 5-6 for iPads, 10-12 for iPhones, and laptops, MacBooks, and chrome books not until 6th or 7th grade.

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