Need advice. Phone options for my kids.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by t76turbo, May 14, 2013.

  1. t76turbo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    #1
    Just wanted to ask for info on what others may have done or suggestions on what you would do if you were in the same situation.

    I have 2 kids. 12 and 14. The older one got a cheapie phone 2 years ago for last minute contact from me and the mother figure. Everything worked out great on AT&T using Smart Limits so there were no overages on the plan. And the phone is in perfect condition even after 2 years. So the kid has been really careful and responsible. Even with no case.

    The younger kid has been begging for a phone for a year or more. Saying they are one of maybe a handful of kids in the entire class that dont have one! Guilt trip I know. But the younger one will have to have a phone by august of this year anyway for when they no longer go to the same school and a single txt to the older ones phone will no longer work to communicate with both.

    I thought about getting the younger one a phone similar to how I did the first. Buy a sim for an old phone I had laying around and then buy a prepaid phone at one of the local retailers and use that sim in the prepaid phone. No contract, allows to use our family minutes, and I purchased 200 txt plan.


    I wouldn't mind getting them Iphones. But hate the idea of data plans, contracts, and high cost of initial phone.



    What have you done or what would you suggest? I am leaning to iphones but want to do it the cheapest method possible. Otherwise I will end up buying a cheap phone and them both an ipod touch. Which puts the costs right up there with a iphone depending on model.
     
  2. osofast240sx macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #2
    My kids have iPhones because of the find my iPhone app lets me know we're they are. We're on T-Mobile 4 lines $100 unlimited talk text data. The HD voice is a great feature also. This is not prepaid it's no contract.
     
  3. bloutrein macrumors regular

    bloutrein

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Location:
    Durban
    #3
    I'd buy a second hand iPhone 4 or 4S for both. Second-hand iPhones are not expensive and are more often than not, not dependent on cellular contract.
     
  4. Ste Nova macrumors 6502

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    LL22, UK
    #4
    iPhone 5/64 for both of them, then you might end up in a nice retirement home
     
  5. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #5
    My children are 15 & 18. 18 year old pays for his own phone as he has a job. He has iPhone 5. I just purchased an iPhone 5 for myself so my 15 year old got my iPhone 3GS. You can always go with the iPhone 4 which is free on most contracts. This is what I will do for my younger boy when my contract is finished. My younger boy does not have data as he is not interested in it. This lowered the cost of his plan to $30/mth which gives him phone usage and unlimited text. You can have the data turned of on the iPhone to make sure no cost are incurred by accident. Just make sure to get them a good case to prevent any damage to the phones. You did say they were responsible, so I see no problem with getting them iPhones.
     
  6. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #6
    I have 4 kids, 18, 17, 14 and 11. Oldest has an iPhone 4 (was $99), next 2 have GS2 phones and love them, youngest has an LG through Virgin Mobile. If you're at all worried about overage, and if they spend a lot of time at home rather than using them away from home, there are 2 good options I never see suggested.

    First is Republic Wireless. They expect you to rely heavily on wi-fi but you still have access to cellular 3G/4G, whatever is available. It relies on the Sprint network if I'm not mistaken and is only $19/month.

    Second is Virgin Mobile. If they don't use minutes for phone calls, you can get 300 minutes and unlimited text and web for $35/mo. That's what we did for my youngest and I honestly wish I had gone that route for all of us instead of Sprint since they use the same network. I pay $260 or so for all 5 phones on Sprint plus $35 to Virgin Mobile. $35x6 would only have cost me $210, not $295 with Sprint/VM. Service is the same, phones cost more since they're not subsidized.

    Sprint is a great option for kids where worry about going over is possible. Mine use theirs as much as they want and I never have to worry. I had VZW but dumped them last year and haven't looked back. My costs dropped and data usage increased. Win-win.

    Edit: oldest 2 have jobs working for my wife at her cleaning business so they pay their own phone bills. The youngest 2 will as well once they begin working.
     
  7. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    The fact of the matter is, you either pay the high contract fees, or you pay the high handset cost. I'm assuming your cheapie phone was maybe $50 web all is said and done (you can buy a dumb phone like this or cheaper walking into almost any electronics store, even grocery stores). Even a used iPhone 4 will sell for three to four times that. I'm not going to make a suggestion in what to choose for your kids, but just saying, you get to deal with one or the other.

    You could go with tmobile, for the cheapest plan costs, but for that to be cheaper than AT&T you are going to need to buy the phone outright. Tgeir new plan is $50 for the dirst line, $30 for the second, and $10 for each additional. That includes unlimited minutes and texts, as well as 500mb of data. More data can be added per line for an additional cee if need be. Texhincally all of these plans are unlimited data without ocerage, the 500mb is just uncapped speeds. If you don't buy the current gen iPhone (5), their data is likely to be limited to edge, based on whether or not you live in a refarmed network.

    Have you considered android phones at all? I ask because you can have a high end android device for under $300 (new or used depending on the device) that will work on all of tmobile's 3G network without worrying about when and if your area is getting refarmed or not.
     
  8. t76turbo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    #8
    Good point. Find my iphone could come in handy when they are out at friends houses or start to drive. Which I dread by the way.

    ----------


    I thought you had to have data no matter what?

    Might be carrier dependant. I have AT&T. I will have to check with them.

    ----------


    I think the cheapie phone I got him was a little under $50. It wasn't the absolute cheapest. But close. Looks like tmobile may be more after all because of the new account costs. But may be worth exploring just in case.

    I am not against android. I will stay with Iphone for myself but they just need a phone. Only consideration there is if I dont go iphone now, they will be wanting a ipod touch. So I have to add that to the mix.
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    I would take the older child's phone and hand it down to the younger child. Then I would get the older child a nicer phone as a reward for 2 years of responsible use.
     
  10. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #10
    If u are going from a dumb phone to a smart phone, I'd think u should expect a spike on data usage. Location GPS would be nice and i gotta think NOT ONLY available on the iPhone. No new phones, sorry am personally against consumerism regardless of cost, kids just got to know if they want the latest and greatest, is going to cost them, not somebody else's money. Your kids don't sound like entitled anyways so just used 4 would be good for me. Not to mention some bully/thiefs see you kids with a latest phone and immediately they are targets.
     
  11. tonykaye macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #11
    I agree with bloutrein. Find a couple iPhone 4's for sale on Craigslist or something, clean them up, add parental lockdown settings and hand them over.
     
  12. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    Somewhere!
    #12
    I am with Telus in Canada. You can have the iPhone without data with Telus. It only cost me $30 without data. But I do have 3 other iPhones with data on that same plan.
     
  13. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    I am not sure what new account costs you are referring to? Do you mean early termination on your current lines?

    ----------

    In the states, that's a no go. No carrier offers this, sadly. Makes no sense either, especially if you buy your phone outright. Moneygrubbing is all it is.
     
  14. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #14
    My husband, my son and his family and I are all on the same family shared data plan on ATT. Now my grandkids don't have phones (they are only 5 and 9) but the 9 year old inherited my old iPad 2. It does have the cellular option. He loves to watch YouTube a lot on the way to and from school. (He's a high functioning Aspie so he needs something to occupy his mind while confined to a car seat).

    Anyway, we all share 10 gigs of data each month. My grandson has learned to monitor his data usage so he never goes over his portion of the data. Granted he uses the most but it's easy to check. I don't know about iPhones but our Win8 phones have an app that shows data by number. My grandson simply asks his dad for the numbers every couple of days. When he gets close he has to stop using it. Over the last few months he has learned to pace himself. It's been a good learning experience.

    We have 4 smart phones and 3 iPads on the plan with unlimited texts, voice, and 10 gigs of data. It costs us about $200/month. Sounds expensive but actually is less expensive than before the shared data.

    If I were in your position I would get them used iPhones and add them to a shared family plan. There are plenty of plans with less data. Then teach them to monitor their own usage. Go over, pay the extra charge, lose the phone for a month.

    Good luck. Personally I think raising kids these days is much harder than when my son was growing up.
     
  15. Turnpike macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #15
    The cheapest option? Get a Verizon prepaid flip phone from Walmart or online, and if you add $15 on a 99 cent plan you can use it for quite a while before that $15 is used up- but the credits expire after 30 or 45 days.....

    To remedy that, is if you add a $100 credit to the phone, the credit lasts a whole year before it expires, which gives you a random text here-and-there as needed. That's the abolute cheapest way to have a working phone with good reception (Verizon) that I've found..... the only down side is that it's for economy/emergencies, and not regular use.... but that sounds like the solution at least for the younger one. The phone can be as low as $20ish and at Best Buy they even come with a $10 credit! When you set it up, just choose the cheapest 99 cent daily plan. To have a phone that will recieve texts and ring as needed, that's pretty awesome, when you consider that you're going to pay $30+ for the cheapest plan of anysort....

    You can find nicer prepaid Verizon phones on Ebay, no contract no plan, just text and phone service and with a $100 account deposit the purchased credits last a whole year till they expire. I hope that helps you or someone else who reads the thread looking for a solution to a similar question...... :)
     
  16. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #16
    Your cheapest option is to get a couple of second hand iPhone 4 and put them on Tmobile. Comes out to $80 per month combined for the 2 lines and gives them a little data too.

    With AT&T you'll be looking at well over $100 each since the data plans alone are $30 each.
     
  17. nickm81us macrumors member

    nickm81us

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    Mar 12, 2012
    #17
    What's wrong with getting them cheapo/prepaid phones until they can afford to buy their own? And you know, can afford to pay their own bills?

    I'm not trying to sound like a smart aleck, I'm actually wondering what other parents do for situations like this. (I have two little girls of my own who will probably be approaching "cell phone" age before too long.... ugh.) :)
     
  18. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #18
    i think it's all up to you and your kids. i have two kids - 7 and 16. the older one got a prepaid in middle school just for emergency contact. when he hit high school he got a basic android on a flat rate plan on metro pcs. i told him that if he could get good grades while being a good kid in general, i would get him an iPhone and put him on my plan. to date, he hasn't got it done. my younger one is only in 1st grade, but she is extremely diligent and a model child. she has her own iPod touch and ipad mini. when she's older, at the rate she's going, i wouldn't hesitate to get her an iPhone later.
     
  19. Korilakkuma macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Location:
    California, USA
    #19
    Kids these days are so spoiled! lol. I see so many little kids running around with iphones and beats headphones in my area. @_@

    I had to earn my first phone by having a job when I was 16 y/o.

    If I had a child, I personally wouldn't buy them pricey phone ( iphone and such ) and would stick with those cheap pre paid phone until they're old enough to work and buy whatever phone they want themselves.
     
  20. osofast240sx macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #20
    This is 2013 those generations are long gone. I'm not going to wait till my kids reach 16 or 17 to teach them how to use a smartphone or tablet.
     
  21. Korilakkuma, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013

    Korilakkuma macrumors member

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    May 9, 2013
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    #21
    ? I'm not necessarily saying people should wait until 16/17 to learn how to use a smartphone or tablet... but I can't justify spending money on high end gadgets for my own children, lol. That's something they can buy on their own when they have a job. If it's entry level gadgets, then I guess it should be fine. ( out of my own pocket )

    On a side note, I think most people ( children included ) learn how to use smartphone or tablet on their own. I don't think you have to teach them. :eek:
     

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