Friday, August 05, 2005
The newest mobile phone market - kindergarten!
No, I'm not kidding. The mobile phone industry is bringing to the market kiddie phones. The picture is not of a toy but an actual mobile phone designed specifically for children to use. It's called Mobile Firefly by Firefly. It's designed with chunky buttons so even a toddler could use it. The buttons have pictures on them for ease in dialing programmed numbers. And those are the only numbers that the phone will dial. There is no number pad so there is no fear of junior calling Peru at peak time. It even comes with a headset with purchase of a bundled package.
It seems the cell phone industry has done almost all it can to saturate the market with over-the-top hi-tech gizmos. We now have phones that take photos, shoot videos, play video games and MP3'S, retrieves and sends e-mail, run Microsoft (c) products, etc. I like a phone that can make and receive calls. All that other crap is just more stuff that can go wrong with it. But I must be in the minority because phones are getting more complex what with being able to call, e-mail, shoot, snap, and send.
With a bloated adult market, the natural thing for any industry to do is go after the kids. Why not? The money is going to come from the adults anyway. This is just a different route to the wallet. I guess the people working in R and D departments in mobile phone corporations figure if it works other industries, why not ours? I can't argue with that logic.
Will I be one of those parents who will buy her child a cell phone? Possibly. It's not because I want my kid to be hip, cool, and part of the in-crowd. I look at it for safety reasons. With all the daft stuff that happens in the world today, it will be my own piece of mind to know my child can reach me anytime she needs me.
I'll just wait a few years. For now, she can "call" nana or daddy or whoever on her toy phone. She has plenty of time to grow-up and I'm not pushing it.