Vodafone Italy and Disney are about to launch a mobile phone aimed at the young folks between the ages of 8 and 13. Italy has over 3 million families with children that fall into that age bracket, and it is estimated that 50% of those kids already have a mobile phone.
Most parents, however, are worried with the security issues that may arise when their kids go around with a mobile phone that was develop for an “adult” use. A market research revealed that the main concerns are related to the improper use of Internet through the mobile phone and to strangers that might be able to interact with their children for obscure reasons.
In order to solve those problems Vodafone and Disney created the “Primofonino”, a mobile phone that promises to deliver security and protection while being extremely simple to use. Parents, for example, will be able to monitor who their children are talking to and with whom they are exchanging short text messages (SMS).
Parents can also block calls to and from numbers that are not included in the contact list, which can be modified only when a password is inserted switching the mobile phone into the “administrator” mode. The use of Internet and other multimedia resources is also limited, making sure that the kid will not burn heaps of cash into those inviting applications.
Finally, the mobile phone comes with two interchangeable keywords. One with the traditional 12 keys and one with only 4 keys that limits the kid to call 4 pre-configured numbers. It will cost €99 ($ 125).