The Walt Disney Co. in June will launch a mobile phone service targeted at 10- to 15-year-olds.
Disney Mobile, an MVNO on the Sprint-Nextel Corp. network, will be the first to offer a full-featured phone specifically for the younger set.
Disney will offer two camera phones for $59.95 each, from LG Electronics and Pantech, leveraging its brand clout via content like ringtones, wallpaper and graphics based on Disney characters and tying into Radio Disney.
Beyond the brand, Disney plans to target the service as whole-family by allowing parents to control their children’s usage.
While calls to parents, other designated numbers and 911 are continuously enabled, a parent can set monthly spending limits to restrain other calls, text messaging and downloading activity. The controls also allow parents to set the times and days of the week when the phone is enabled, and to which numbers, while parents can map the location of the kids’ handsets from their phones or PCs, thanks to embedded GPS functionality. Custom and pre-set text alerts for common needs like scheduling pickups round out the special features.
Child-only subscriptions and family plans will be sold online at Disneymobile.com and at mall kiosks; no word yet on plan pricing.
Disney Mobile will be the first to offer conventional phone service for kids; Competitive options like Firefly Mobile and Tic Talk do not use phones with full handsets and allow only limited activity.
Disney Mobile www.disneymobile.com