Parents who are hesitant to indulge their preteens with cell phones now may have a more practical, more kid-friendly option. Some cell phone providers have teamed with kid-centric companies like Disney to develop a phone more appropriate for underage users.
What makes these phones different? Primarily, the Call Control feature, which allows parent to pre-program in up to 10 phone numbers - the only telephone numbers children can call. Most parents like to program in all the telephone numbers for each parent, sibling, grandparents and other extended family and some emergency numbers. Another feature on these phones is Family Locator, a feature that allows parents to narrow down the location of their child.
Parents like the kid-centric phones because it allows them the ability to reach out to parents when needed. As most children plead their case to own their own cell phones, most use the classic lines involving the need to be able to call in case of emergency, and phones like these fill this need.
Kids are fans of the phones too. In addition to having the phone to "keep up with the Jones' (Juniors!), so to speak, fun applications allow children to remain children...while owning a grown-up phone. Ring tones that ring to popular songs from children's movies allow the child to add a level of individuality and personalization. Another feature of these phones is the ability to text message the contacts that have been pre-programmed in, a feature that allows kids to feel more grown-up by partaking in "texting" with their parents and siblings.