OwnFone launches ‘1stFone’ mobile for children

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The credit-card sized phone is customised to include contact numbers pre-assigned by parents

Mobile manufacturer and MVNO CyCell has today launched ‘1stFone’, a device aimed at young children.

The device is being promoted through CyCell’s consumer-facing brand OwnFone and comes programmed with up to 12 numbers pre-assigned by parents. It does not have a Qwerty keyboard and can only be used to make and receive calls.

Parents with older children can also choose to have a 999 button included which has to be pressed three times to activate.

The device, whose covers are printed, is the size of a credit card and customisable.

The limited functionality of the phone means risks such as text or cyber bullying, accessing inappropriate material online, ‘sexting’ or running up huge bills by exceeding data allowances are avoided.

The phone can be fully charged and stored away as an emergency phone and will still make a call after a year.

OwnFone founder Tom Sunderland said: “In a world dominated by smartphones parents face a difficult choice when it comes to finding a first phone for their child. We wanted to design a fun product that appeals to children but puts parents in complete control and minimises usage while still providing a vital connection between parent and child.

“We’re now looking to expand our product range across ages and feel that at every stage of life we need simple phones to compliment smartphones. This is about providing a much needed balance to smartphones and recognising that in certain situations or times in life you need light, simple and small rather than large, heavy and complicated.”

Prices for the 1stFone start at £55 and they are available online through OwnFone on 30 day rolling contracts and prepay.

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