We actually decided to avoid Blackberry, because of cost, but also because I didn't want her to have instant messaging. I had heard too many stories of children being a bit addicted to BBM, which then caused many arguments when it came to put the phone down. We have a £10/month PAYG, with a certain number of texts and calls (Vodafone freedom freebee). If she uses it up before the end of the month, she just has to wait until the next month. We set up rules on the first day - 1) no phone in bedroom at night 2) no phones at meal times (adults too!) 3) we have access to phone.
Oh - forgot to say, I got the phones free, and pay £14 a month for their contract, which, as omletta said, still works out less than I paid for their PAYG they last had, and, as capped, I get no nasty surprise bills!
My twin DS's ( almost 12yrs) have the samsung galaxy mini, again on a contract, which is capped, so they cant go above their set minutes without my consent. They do have unlimited internet access and texts as part of their deal (it was with T mobile as a "Special" last Christmas), but I have parental controls put on the phone by the provider,limiting the types of sites they can access and I also have Kaspersky mobile access cover, which has even more controls on it! We have the rule in our house that I must know thier passcode, and can (and do!) check their phone at any time. I especially check their browser history. I have got them a screen guard and a rubberised cover, and, though they have been dropped, left in bags full of books/pens/lunchboxes, and get generally abused, they are still working fine!
Sorry if this has been covered a gazzillion times, but what phones do your 12/13 yo boys have? DS has not been bothered/needed a phone, but wants one now, and is keen on DHs Blackberry (his 16 yo male cousin has one too).
DS feels a bit left out at school, he isn't an alpha male and not in with the 'cool' crowd. I don't want him to have an iphone, but am not sure about a Blackberry either? What would be on the Christmas wish list this year phone-wise?