Just gave an 8 year old his first iPhone, am I crazy?

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 5, 2007
5,238
1,254
At least I can safely say this, my ENTIRE FAMILY has iPhones (Factory Unlocked to boot, as we have T-Mobile, we had them since 2002, and don't plan to stop now) (and we are officially an Apple household, though we have been Mac since 1996 or so ;)). I have also given him an iBook G4 to use for simple internet and class assignments. If he would like to do anything more, theres always an Intel Mac somewhere in the house available for him to use.

I just activated a first generation iPhone for my 8 year old brother yesterday, and handed him the phone. I have activated Parental Controls, disabled In-App Purchases, Explicit Content, and more. I have set a Volume Limit to 75%.

There are a few educational apps on there, and all of the music he would ever listen to. What else should I do to this iPhone? He has proven to all of us that he is responsible with the iPhone, and there is "Mom" "dad" "Sister" and myself in the Favorites section of the contacts list.

Troll Notice: You are never too young to have technology, especially since it is now 2012. Just because you didn't have nice things as a kid (I didn't either), doesn't mean you should bag on kids that do now...grow up and stop crying ;). You're free to choose the age of an iPhone or cell phone in general for the people in your family.

His Plan on a T-Mobile Classic Family Shared Plan:

500 Minutes (all to himself)
Unlimited Text Messages (shared)
Unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes
250MB Web of 3G (N/A anyway as any iPhones on T-Mobile can only do EDGE)
Parental Controls enabled on the account level, with a complete stop when he reaches 500 allotted minutes, unless the call is to 911 or in-network, which includes family.

About our plan:

4 Lines
Unlimited Family Text Messages
Unlimited Minutes for my number & parents numbers.
Unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for non-unlimited numbers.
Unlimited Web
ALL Unlocked iPhone 4-8GB, except the 8year old's line, which is a first generation iPhone. These were bought from the Apple Store.

I personally had AT&T and Verizon, but jumped back on my parent's T-Mobile plan to save myself some cash :).

$175 a month...Can not beat this, considering all lines have smartphones (iPhones)
 
Last edited:

Heebeejeebies

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2011
242
10
New Jersey
At least I can safely say this, my ENTIRE FAMILY has iPhones (and we are officially an Apple household, though we have been Mac since 1996 or so ;)). I have also given him an iBook G4 to use for simple internet and class assignments. If he would like to do anything more, theres always an Intel Mac somewhere in the house available for him to use.

I just activated a first generation iPhone for my 8 year old brother yesterday, and handed him the phone. I have activated Parental Controls, disabled In-App Purchases, Explicit Content, and more. I have set a Volume Limit to 75%.

There are a few educational apps on there, and all of the music he would ever listen to. What else should I do to this iPhone? He has proven to all of us that he is responsible with the iPhone, and there is "Mom" "dad" "Sister" and myself in the Favorites section of the contacts list.

Troll Notice: You are never too young to have technology, especially since it is now 2012. Just because you didn't have nice things as a kid (I didn't either), doesn't mean you should bag on kids that do now...grow up and stop crying ;). You're free to choose the age of an iPhone or cell phone in general for the people in your family.

His Plan:

500 Minutes
Unlimited Text Messages (shared)
Unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes
250MB Web
That's a lot of minutes and texts for an 8-year-old, but I'd be concerned with the data part of the plan. Make sure he understands that you will be charged money if he goes over the data.

I agree that you can't be too young to have technology, as long as you're sure he's mature enough to use it properly.

-Edit-

A 48GB iPhone?
 

visim91

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2011
332
0
Encourage him to learn how to make Apps for your iPhones.
This either might be the start of something wonderful, or an early introduction to the concept that all things are deserved, not earned. Avoid the former, it almost always results in debt.

Don't pressure him, perhaps, when he is playing a game or enjoying an App of his own choosing, pop by to remind/show him that it's really quite simple, that he can make games for the two of you. There might even be some money in it! You know your brother better that anyone, play to his interests, I'm telling you, this is how good things happen. Don't just let him use it to consume content. Don't zombify your sibling.
 

phaggard

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2007
139
0
I wasn't allowed to use the telephone when I was 8 but I was also born in 1959. Things change.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,012
1,291
since it's a 1st gen i think it could be good since it could be a trial of how much he can last w/out shattering the glass front; In my days being 8 meant a lot of moving around and playing everywhere.
Your plan price is OK, a little bit high for someone using EDGE though.
Hope the kid likes it and takes care of it.
As for the computer, I would give my kid a new one (whenever I decide to have one), just like my mom put the desktop in my room and had let me use it as I please even though it was the fam computer. Learned a lot w/ it and I'm glad she could afford one and let me basically fiddle w/ it. Had many BSOD and installed and coded a bunch of stuff, good times.
 

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
Isn't 500 minutes of calling a month a bit excessive? I mean, no one would really need that many minutes except businessmen or those who don't have a landline ;)
 

specify

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2008
120
0
Can you expand some more on how he's proven himself to be responsible enough?
 

Jordan921

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2010
4,655
1,420
Bay Area
Kids progress differently. Some kids are more advanced then others. Someone I know gave her son a iPad2 64GB with 3g at the age of 7. At 8 he probably won't have much people to call anyways. Aslong as you steer him down the right track and make sure he knows what's right from wrong he should be ok.
 

unlimitedx

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
635
0
At least I can safely say this, my ENTIRE FAMILY has iPhones (Factory Unlocked to boot, as we have T-Mobile, we had them since 2002, and don't plan to stop now) (and we are officially an Apple household, though we have been Mac since 1996 or so ;)). I have also given him an iBook G4 to use for simple internet and class assignments. If he would like to do anything more, theres always an Intel Mac somewhere in the house available for him to use.

I just activated a first generation iPhone for my 8 year old brother yesterday, and handed him the phone. I have activated Parental Controls, disabled In-App Purchases, Explicit Content, and more. I have set a Volume Limit to 75%.

There are a few educational apps on there, and all of the music he would ever listen to. What else should I do to this iPhone? He has proven to all of us that he is responsible with the iPhone, and there is "Mom" "dad" "Sister" and myself in the Favorites section of the contacts list.

Troll Notice: You are never too young to have technology, especially since it is now 2012. Just because you didn't have nice things as a kid (I didn't either), doesn't mean you should bag on kids that do now...grow up and stop crying ;). You're free to choose the age of an iPhone or cell phone in general for the people in your family.

His Plan on a T-Mobile Classic Family Shared Plan:

500 Minutes (all to himself)
Unlimited Text Messages (shared)
Unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes
250MB Web of 3G (N/A anyway as any iPhones on T-Mobile can only do EDGE)
Parental Controls enabled on the account level, with a complete stop when he reaches 500 allotted minutes, unless the call is to 911 or in-network, which includes family.

About our plan:

4 Lines
Unlimited Family Text Messages
Unlimited Minutes for my number & parents numbers.
Unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for non-unlimited numbers.
Unlimited Web
ALL Unlocked iPhone 4-8GB, except the 8year old's line, which is a first generation iPhone. These were bought from the Apple Store.

I personally had AT&T and Verizon, but jumped back on my parent's T-Mobile plan to save myself some cash :).

$175 a month...Can not beat this, considering all lines have smartphones (iPhones)

Could you provide a breakdown on how it is costing $175 for 4 smartphone lines?
 

TM WAZZA

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2010
1,967
0
Hamilton, New Zealand
First you ask your question if you're crazy for giving an iPhone to an 8 year old, then you write the troll notice part.

I think you've already answered your own question.
 

bandofbrothers

macrumors 601
Oct 14, 2007
4,780
327
Uk
My concerns would be

Access to inappropriate content on the net.

A child is more likely to have an accident with a phone through play.

An unscrupulous adult/older child has a good chance of stealing such a high end phone of one so young in years.

Unawareness to the cost of using an iPhone ref data , apps costs and potential costs within an app. Although using an iTunes redeemable voucher instead of bank card will resolve that.

As a parent if 3 I'm in favour of being able to contact my child and the ability for my child to contact me is important especially in the society we live in but in all honesty I would choose not to provide a high end smartphone to one so young.
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2011
1,231
42
I haven't read any of this thread, but yes, you are crazy to give an 8 year old an iPhone. That's all.
 

sand_man

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2011
642
113
Johannesburg, South Africa
I would be more concerned from a health perspective. Hope he will be using those 500 minutes with a hands free kit or alternatively with the device on speaker.
 
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NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
I would say that you're pretty cool for hooking him up with an iPhone, and that he is lucky to have you as his big brother. :)

-- Nathan
 

Tigerdaly

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2009
22
0
Absolutely ridiculous.
No reason on earth can warrant an 8 year old to need an iPhone.
No reason on earth why an 8 year old needs a communication device at all.

If felt the need to ask the question .......... then you know the answer.
 

Kauai

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2010
503
1
I feel odd for saying this, but.

Everyone who is saying this is crazy needs to get with the times.

I think it's a completely logical and awesome thing to do. I know that for me, being involved with technology from such a young age really sparked a fascination with it! (My dad bought me a laptop at the age of 9-10).

He's very lucky to have a big brother like you. As long as you and the family maintain adequate supervision, that's great.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
But... Why? What will he use the phone for, and when? If he only uses it around the house instead of watching TV or reading comics or what not, then I can understand it. But which eight year old would have use for an iPhone in his pocket at all times?

I'm not saying I have arguments for him not to have it, I'm saying I can't see any reason for him to have it. That's why I'm asking.
 

Kauai

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2010
503
1
But... Why? What will he use the phone for, and when? If he only uses it around the house instead of watching TV or reading comics or what not, then I can understand it. But which eight year old would have use for an iPhone in his pocket at all times?

I'm not saying I have arguments for him not to have it, I'm saying I can't see any reason for him to have it. That's why I'm asking.
My little brother, who is only six, plays games, watches videos, and calls his family all the time on the iPhone.

Now, it isn't HIS iPhone per se, but he has it about 80% of the time since my Dad isn't a huge technophile and really only makes calls with it.

He's learned a lot from playing some educational games on the iPhone. And I'm not just saying that. Spelling especially, with some of the word games! And he loves to FaceTime, especially.

He actually likes it more than our iPad (we have three of them) since it's more portable.

Either way, saying you can't think of anything an 8 year old would do with an iPhone is ridiculous. There is a multitude of things.
 

Grayburn

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2010
1,778
122
London, England
My 2 year old knows where all his games are on my iPhone.

He knows how to unlock it, what page his game folder is on, and what game is what just by looking at the icon.

I need to get hime an iPod i think as he wants my iPhone all the time, does keep him quiet though.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
My little brother, who is only six, plays games, watches videos, and calls his family all the time on the iPhone.

Now, it isn't HIS iPhone per se, but he has it about 80% of the time since my Dad isn't a huge technophile and really only makes calls with it.

He's learned a lot from playing some educational games on the iPhone. And I'm not just saying that. Spelling especially, with some of the word games! And he loves to FaceTime, especially.

He actually likes it more than our iPad (we have three of them) since it's more portable.

Either way, saying you can't think of anything an 8 year old would do with an iPhone is ridiculous. There is a multitude of things.
Maybe you should try reading my post again.