Cell phone player kajeet will put the U.S. tween market on speed dial next month when it starts rolling out kid-friendly cell phone packages to Limited Too stores and 500 Best Buy outlets. Unlike the tween-targeted Firefly phones that hit the market in 2005 via subscription services at major wireless carriers, this package works on a pay-as-you-go model and offers a full-function handset.
Kajeet has content deals in place with major players including Nickelodeon and gameco Gameloft, and is offering a variety of entertainment options ranging from customized ringtones and graphic interfaces to casual games. Wireless coverage for the phones is supported by Sprint PCS Network.
For parents, applications like WalletManager will enable mom and dad to determine who pays for what service, while ContactManager gives them the ability to block numbers on incoming and outgoing calls. Other parental controls on IM functions and game downloads are also available.
With all these bells and whistles, the service is priced at US$0.35 a day, with text messages costing US$0.05 and picture downloads US$0.25. The phones themselves, from companies like Sanyo, LG and Nokia, cost around US$70. Both the software and the hardware are available at www.kajeet.com.