Above All, Parents Buy Cell Phones for Safety

FireflyMobile.jpgA new Reuters report said that most parents who are thinking of buying cell phones for their children this Christmas are doing so for safety reasons, according to a new survey.

An online poll of 339 parents found that 78 percent were considering getting a cell phone for their children so they could be in contact with them in case of an emergency, the report said. Meanwhile, another 13 percent said they wanted their children to be able to keep in touch with friends and family, and six percent admitted it was because their children “repeatedly asked for one.”

“If you look at how all the service providers are building out their networks and marketing to adults, they’ve been focusing on entertainment,” said Jojo Roy, an Aricent company spokesman. But “almost half of parents polled said that location-based technology, such as GPS and a live audio feed that would allow parents to speak directly to their children from the handset, would be of more interest.”

Some vendors are paying attention, such as Sprint with its Family Locator cell phone GPS service, and Firefly, which makes kid-friendly cell phones that give parents financial control and the ability to restrict incoming and outgoing calls to certain phone numbers.

(Image courtesy of FireFly Mobile, Inc.)

Parents Purchase Mobile Phones for Safety Reasons [Reuters via PC Magazine]