Is there a way for me to configure an iPhone 4s for my child, to only act as a phone and to send/receive texts to only authorized numbers (authorized by me). I don't want him to be able to use it as a smartphone (no internet access). It seems to me the phone's password system will not work, since he will need access to that password to use the phone.
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The closest you can come is Settings/General/Restrictions
You can set cellular data off and then restrict the setting from being changed. The restriction menu can have a different passcode than the passcode for the phone.
From the VZW FamilyBase FAQs. "Yes, the FamilyBase Parent app is available for the iPhone; however, the companion (or child) app is not. Even though the child app is not available for the iPhone you can still monitor calling, text and data usage through the Parent app. However, you are not able to monitor app usage or lock their phone."