In 2006 Imaginarium and Telefonica Moviles launched the MO1, a mobile handset designed for 6 year-old children. It sold at 59 Euros, with a prepaid account. Its features include: two blue buttons for direct call to Mom or Dad, white-list for allowed SMS destinations set-up by parents, hands-free and an emergency locator.
What does not seem as a bad idea has been criticized by many European countries, complaining about marketing and selling targeted to children. But, didn’t ads for kids toys already exist years ago? Why is it now an issue when applied to something as useful as a mobile phone? Just educate children not to abuse it. French Ministry of Health has gone farther, suggesting that since the long-term effects of mobile “radiations” are unknown, children should not use mobiles. But if radiation risks were to exist, shouldn’t the authorities better check all antenna towers located close to schools, in schools or on top of buildings where children live?
Recent surveys among 9 year-old kids in European countries have shown that most of them already have a mobile phone. I am afraid the trend of children with mobiles is unstoppable, even if some politicians insist on alarming the population with the fears of the unknown.