Iphone for a minor?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Imola Ghost, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Imola Ghost macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #1
    We were thinking we'd get an iPhone 3GS for our son for Christmas. What have other people done for a minor and an iPhone? I wasn't sure if getting the phone and then adding them to our Family Plan or trying a Pre-paid Plan would be the best. I'm not only looking for the best deal on the iPhone but also the actual plan itself because of him being a kid, I have to have concern about him loosing it and [I was thinking] if he lost the iPhone, it may be better for him on a Pre-paid.

    Let me know what you guys think we should do.
     
  2. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #2
    How old is he exactly?

    I'm 15, and I've had my iPhone since I was 14, didn't lose it. I take great care of it, and my parents trust me with it. I'm on a family plan, so it's just 9.99+$30+$5 (Texting).
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
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    #3
    inb4 a boatload of parentng advice. Anyone about to give it, save it, that's not the thread topic.

    Family plan is better. You can get smart limits of minutes on it. You can also control texting and data usage.
     
  4. Imola Ghost thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 21, 2009
    #4

    This sounds like something that I may need to read further into. Do you have any more information about these individual features?
     
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    #5
    Well AT&T has Smart Limits which pretty much allow you to control how much minutes each FamilyPlan line gets to spend. If they spend them all, that's it, no more; unless you want to. This way you prevent surprise bills because overage charges in minutes.

    Also data can be managed by adding the $30 plan which makes it unlimited data. Texting is also easy to manage.

    Your local ATT store or rep has more info. I don't know much on how you can manage texting, bu you can also block it( you can also block data)
     
  6. vespoli macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #6

    There is no prepaid iPhone plan; it must come with a new line. So, family plan is probably your best (cheapest) bet.
     
  7. pellets007 macrumors 6502a

    pellets007

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    Establish that this is the only iPhone he is getting from you. I know several teenagers that purposely break or lose their phone only to beg their parents for a new, better device. There is no prepaid plan for the iPhone, so if he loses it you will be forced to continue paying the bill for the rest of the time that you are tied to your contract (correct me if I am wrong here, someone).
     
  8. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #8
    I'm 16 I've had a phone since I was 14. I'm pretty responsible with my toys knowing my parents won't just buy me another one. I don't have an iphone but I have a smartphone on my familys verizon plan which I'm guessing is similar to atts. We share 2100 minutes have unlimited texting (because of my sister haha I try not to txt too much) and I pay for my 30 data plan which is the same as the iphone. I'm the primary line and its pretty cheap about 150~ a month. Just get him a case with it no one likes dropping a 600 phone on the ground and breaking it......
     
  9. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #9
    family plan is the way to go. It'll be your cheapest option (so long as the rest of your family is also on ATT). Your going to have to pay $30 a month for unlimited data, and, though this is totally up to you, its probably also a good idea to get some sort of texting plan, as teenagers usually will text even if you tell them not to (or you could just block texts entirely, thats another option), and if there isnt a texting plan, they add up fast.

    If he does lose the phone (hopefully that doesn't happen), you can likely get a cheap unlocked phone on ebay and add it to his number, so at least he has a phone for if you need to contact him. At that point you may also remove the data plan, if it comes to that. So losing the phone wont necessarily make the minutes plan itself wasted
     
  10. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    Aug 10, 2008
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    #10

    Smart Limits does not let you control the persons minutes, but it does control texting, data and you can restrict time limits on it. I have it for my daughter and I wish I could control her minutes, but so far she's been very good and I check the bill all the time.

    My daughter doesn't have an iPhone, but has a LG touch screen and it's not a bad phone. I told her if she ever breaks it or looses it, she will get a Pay-as-you-go phone and I will get the basic, cheapest phone I can find. She will also have limits who she can call then and have restrictions. She had a cell phone for almost over a year and a half and so far so good.
     
  11. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    I've had a phone since 3rd grade I think? I walked a few miles home everyday, so it was just a way to keep in touch for those just-in-case times. I of course always broke my phone and I never really used the phone, so I always had the cheapest plastic phone. It depends on how your son treats other things he has; if he isn't cautious with everything, then it may be best of stick with a more basic phone. I don't really see the need for an iPhone. I see tons of teens with iPhones these days; I can't imagine what 99% of them need all that functionality for. Making a call was enough… maybe Snake. I'm just speaking from experience as a former child (well weren't we all).

    I believe that the cell phone for any child should be nothing more than a communication tool. It should work in most conditions. I'd disable SMS, MMS, and Internet. Obviously with an iPhone you cannot block the Internet. Do you really need you son browsing the Internet in school when he should be doing work?

    Of course if your son is in college, or something then all this is moot. Go for it.

    Don't forget any limitation that AT&T offers comes at an additional cost; you're paying like $10 a month for Smart Limits to limit spending. Same thing with adding a data plan to curb data spending, a messaging plan to limit messaging spending.
     
  12. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #12
    Get him an iPod touch and a cheap phone. Call it good.
     
  13. neilp4453 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #13
    If he hasn't openly shown interest in smartphones..it may not be the best idea to get him one. Once you lose it (or damage it)...that's it until the contract expires. The only options then are to pay full price for another smartphone or downgrade to a regular phone. Meaning if he loses the iPhone...you will be able to take off the data plan and downgrade to a regular phone.

    If you deem him responsible (if he hasn't shown any interest)...then go for it. If he isn't going to take care of it..just get a ipod touch.

    Browsing in school shouldn't be a problem...it isn't like he will pop it out and start surfing the web in class. Teachers will say something...I know many schools prohibit usage of cell phones during school hours.

    Finding a discount on the iPhone is unlikely...though I have seen it from time to time. You may want to look into Bing Cashback (if you plan to order online)...you may find an eligible store on their list that sells the iPhone.

    Other than that, you might be able to get a discount on your plan depending on where you work. My dad (main line) was eligible for a discount. We all were using standard phones and I wanted an iPhone. Since additional lines don't get a discount on features they add...I took over the main line and now receive a discount on the data plan and unlimited texting for all the lines. Of course, if you don't want to go through with the hassle of swapping lines (which means a new number you will have to tell all your friends and family about) and already have a data plan going on your main line...then this is all irrelevant.

    Yes...family plan is def. the way to go.
     
  14. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    Aug 10, 2008
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    Around
    #14
    Smart Limits is $4.99 a month
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    Personally my opinion is that its not a wise move but that's more or less a generalized statement.

    It all depends on the age of the minor. There's a huge difference in responsibility of a 17 year old and a 11 year old. Also his responsibilities, does be break/lose/mishandle things? What are the odds of him/her losing/breaking the phone? Does he/she have a phone now, how responsible are they now with it.

    Only you know your child but personally, I think getting an iPhone is excessive but that's just me.
     
  16. digiphantom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #16
    I second this idea.
     
  17. rKunda macrumors 65816

    rKunda

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #17
    Doesn't anyone else see the contradiction in this post?
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    My point is the same—you're still paying more per month to "save" money.
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    Definitely go with a family plan. You also may want to add an unlimited texting plan for the family as well. Teenagers text like crazy.
     
  20. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #20
    Since when do old people care about new technology or use facebook, twitter, etc? Yeah that generalization isn't so hot... No offense but that's pretty damn controlling...maybe I'm biased since I'm 16 but that's really not fair. My parents are strict and thus I have to pay for my line and data plan, I work 16 hours a week and take care of my younger siblings now THAT'S fair. Also almost all schools disallow phone use during class unless its a study hall...idk sensoring your childrens communication seams controlling to the max, the most I've seen is some of my friends get txting disabled from 7-2 because they were txting to much...
     

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