When my son went into the 6th grade we got him a phone because it was the first time I was going to have kids at 2 different schools and I wanted him to be able to get a hold of me. My younger son has my old iphone that isn’t activated as a phone, he plays games on it.
I do agree though with frxjkp – it could definitely be a way to not be left out. As I now homeschool my children, the only reason my older one has a cell is because he is more independent now (he is almost 14) and I like being able to gt a hold of him. At his age I had a pager so my parents could say “get home now ” LOL