Tweens Offer Next Big Target for Cell Phone Sales

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Business 2.0 magazine says wireless companies are chasing the 12-and-under crowd. The number of tweens armed with cell phones is expected to grow 60 percent by 2010. They're a fertile market for text-messaging and gaming fees.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And it's not just toy companies that want to sell you products for life, which is why today's last word in business is a phrase: cradle-to-grave marketing. According to Business 2.0 magazine, the mobile phone industry is chasing after one of the few demographics still largely handset free, the 12 and under crowd.

Apparently it's no longer enough to borrow mom's phone, so the number of American tweens armed with cell phones is expected to grow 60 percent by the year 2010. The challenge for phone companies is kids do not want a phone that looks like a kid's toy with just a few buttons to push. They want a device that looks grown up. And, of course, the grown up bill goes to the parents.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. With Renee Montagne, I'm Steve Inskeep.

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