How soon is too soon to give your child an iPhone? I say that as long as they’re under 18, they shouldn’t have one. But what do I know, I’m a cranky old fart. That said, you wouldn’t give a 5 year old a $700 smartphone, would you? But it still would make some sort of sense to give him the ability to call home on his sleepovers, or whatever the heck 5 year olds do when they’re away from you. That’s what the ’1stfone’ is for. It’s a dead simple handset which comes preprogrammed with 4 numbers, plus 999. That’s the emergency phone number in the UK, as this is unfortunately UK-only (and Northern Ireland, sorry). The child can easily press any of the four numbers, or answer a call if you wish to get in touch with him. And that’s all he can do with it. There’s no keypad for him to start making long distance calls, or touchscreen to play games, or anything; any change in the preprogrammed numbers requires calling customer service.
It’s a smart device that targets a neglected demographic and we sort of hope they succeed. It’s between £55 and £70 for the handset (depending on whether you choose Pay-As-You-Go or a Monthly plan) and plans start at £7.50 per month.