11/28/12 – Phones Become Popular Holiday Gift Idea for Tweens

COLUMBIA, Mo., Nov. 28, 2012… Once upon a time, a walkie-talkie was the cool holiday gift that kids wanted as a way to communicate with their family members and friends. Today, it’s the cell phone. Nearly six out of 10 U.S. parents of children ages 8 to 12 have provided their tweens with cell phones, according to the National Consumers League. The survey said safety and keeping track of after-school activities are the top reasons parents buy phones for their tweens. The benefits of a mobile device make this one of the few kid-tested, parent-approved devices on holiday wish lists this year.

“Cell phones provide instant communication for parents and children. Wireless devices can alleviate a parent’s anxiety about being out of touch with their child,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri. “We offer free incoming calls, texts and pictures to help children stay in contact with friends and family without blowing through their allowance.”

Top devices for kids this year include the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S®III, Motorola ELECTRIFY 2, and Samsung Chrono™ 2. The Samsung Galaxy S®III offers the ultimate in smartphone technology and includes an 8MP camera for snapping high quality pictures. The Motorola ELECTRIFY 2 features a 4.3-inch ColorBoost screen, which is ideal for playing games, watching movies and surfing the web while on-the-go. The Samsung ChronoTM 2 is the perfect introductory cell phone with quick access to games and a user-friendly web browser. For advanced users, the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 is the must-have tablet for the holiday season.

Parents can control access with free Google Play apps such as Android Parental Control, Kaspersky Parental Control and Smart AppLock. These apps add filtering and blocking tools to limit what young mobile users encounter with their phones.

In addition to facilitating communication, smartphones can also serve educational purposes. Kids can benefit from more than 3,000 free educational apps on Google Play, including:

  • Flashcards+ – If you are looking for a convenient way to study, place thousands of flashcards into your phone and study while on the go.
  • iStoryBooks – Free books complete with voice-over, pictures and alternative languages are available. You can even pre-load your device with your favorite holiday story.
  • HomeWork – Helpful for older kids to manage their time by scheduling homework and lesson reminders.
  • Kids Paint Free – No need to worry about making a mess.
  • Mathway – Keep minds sharp by solving basic math and pre-algebra problems.

These apps are all available for download on U.S. Cellular’s high speed nationwide network and cutting-edge lineup of smartphones, such as the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S® III or Motorola ELECTRIFY 2 and tablets, like the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

In addition to great holiday deals now, U.S. Cellular customers get a better experience all year long, including unique benefits like no new contract after the first and the only points-based rewards program in wireless. You can use your points for faster phone upgrades and free ringtones.

About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. By the end of 2012, 58 percent of customers will have access to 4G LTE speeds. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion in 2012 for the second year in a row. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.

For more information, contact:

Sara Randolph, The Hauser Group (314) 436-9090

Kelly Harfoot, U.S. Cellular (773) 355-3697