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Does my 12-year old really need an #iPhone7?

boys mobileWith half-term arriving in less than fortnight, Christmas now seems a lifetime away. But its legacy lives on at our school. It appears Santa was very generous to some of Year 7: they’re now toting around the latest iPhone 7.

Such an injustice has not passed by Darling Son who has to suffer the daily humiliation of using Mr Minted’s cast-off iPhone 5s. The shame of it, he reminds me daily. I respond that he should be grateful that it’s an upgrade on my old 4 – effectively obsolete from November as it can’t take any more software updates. (How mean of Apple to withdraw support for a still great phone.) He shakes his head sadly. The 5 just doesn’t cut it.

Poor boy. He’s just arrived at secondary school, a rite of passage which seems to coincide with getting your first smart phone. His educational establishment is pretty minty and I feel his pain. Especially when I remember being forced by my parents to wear 1970s-style sensible Clarks shoes at school when everyone else had winkle-pickers. Nonetheless, for all the puppy-dog eyes, I’m not going to give in to his peer pressure.

Here’s why. Like many a genius, the Boy Wonder is far too busy having beautiful thoughts to care about anything as mundane as checking the location of his phone. As I’ve written before here, we already had a run-in with lost property before Christmas. After a two-hour search of every changing room at school we eventually found the aforementioned 4 – in the side pocket of his sports bag. I’d worry about him having a non-smart phone.

So, boy + phone = requirement for insurance. We’ve got a quick guide here but the upshot is that most insurers won’t cover under-18s on a standalone policy. You’ll have to make sure the phone’s covered by your house contents policy – extra hassle and maybe cost.

Speaking of cost, have you seen the prices? Just a 7 on its own is £599! Getting a monthly deal is massively more. A quick survey of the Carphone Warehouse website reveals the top deal online for a 7 is £40.99 per month plus a £29.99 upfront charge. That’s a whopping £1,013.75.

Really, would you entrust kit of that value to a 12-year old? If it was a diamond ring, would you let him/her wear it to school on a regular basis? It’s just not necessary. When Apple makes the 5s obsolete, maybe I’ll reconsider. Until then ….

Am I being too mean? Let me know in the comments below!

Good grief: not a change for the better
#Freecash machine but for how long?
 

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Monday, 17 December 2018