Hey Kid, Your Backpack Is Ringing "While cellphone use has become widespread among young people - a study by the Yankee Group, a research firm, found that 56 percent of 11- to 17-year-olds owned or shared a phone - data on use by younger children is sparse. One survey of 8- to 10-year-olds by Circle 1 Network found that 29 percent owned a cellphone, up from 18 percent two years ago. What's more, according to the survey, another 54 percent of the children in that age group said they wanted a wireless phone.
As more teenagers own phones, it has become easier for their younger siblings to demand one too, said Jorian Clarke, the president of Circle 1 Network, which sponsors several Web sites for children and teenagers. "Younger kids are aspirational," said Ms. Clarke, whose 10-year-old niece successfully lobbied for a cellphone recently. "For them, it's as much a status symbol as a communications device."