DD got a Leappad from a relative last year for her third birthday. She uses it mainly when we're doing long car journeys and loves it.
Her preschool teachers suggested continuing with some gentle phonics, at DDs pace over summer. They suggested maybe getting some fun apps or something.
I thought DD would love some phonics games on her Leappad so have just started looking for something suitable and not only do all the apps seem to be in an American accent, there don't seem to be any that use phonics instead of Ay, Bee, See etc. and most UK children learn via phonics.
I know it's not exactly a major problem, but for such a popular toy for kids this age, I expected better.
At this stage I think it's probably better to teach her early phonics by sounding out sounds and words with her, rather than by using an app. Personally I would prefer that my children primarily associated books with reading, rather than electronic devices. If you do want to go down the app route, Reading Eggs for iPad (or via a web browser on a PC) teaches in the same way that most British schools do.
But setting aside the phonics point, I do agree that leappads are a bit crap and US focussed (one of my DCs has one). And the games are ridiculously over priced. I wouldn't buy one again - it will be Hudls all the way for my younger DC.