Disney Unveils Mobile Plans5 Apr, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The Walt Disney Co. April 5 launched Disney Mobile, which the company claims is the first national wireless phone service targeted exclusively at families with tween-age kids.
The service is scheduled to launch in June and, unlike other family plans that focus on shared minutes, allows parents to monitor their children's phone use and whereabouts.
The Disney-branded phones, which include two-year service agreements, will retail for $59.99 and $109.99, respectively, depending on handheld features that include a global positioning function, radio, camera, text and picture messaging, ring tones, screen savers, wallpaper and entertainment options.
Separately, Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons this week said the media giant would actively pursue a mobile phone strategy through its Time Warner Cable unit following completion of its $18 billion acquisition of Adelphia.
In addition to the Internet, Disney Mobile subscribers would have access to Vault Disney, which incorporates many of the online and offline Disney titles and brands.
Parents can set their children's mobile spending allowances and track usage for voice minutes, text messaging and downloadable content via www.disneymobile.com.
"Parents told us that they value the extra convenience and security a cell phone provides the family, but they also expressed a desire to be able to supervise their children's cell phone use and avoid the horror stories they have heard about excessive mobile bill surprises,” said George Grobar, SVP and GM of Disney Mobile.
Disney Mobile will operate as a mobile virtual network operator in association with the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network. The service is a follow-up to ESPN Mobile, the sports-themed phone service launched in February by the Walt Disney Internet Group.