Scratch is an excellent educational tool for kids, both of mine (8 and 12) love using it. They really like the idea of being able to use something Scratch-like to write their own phone apps.
Cheap Android phones (like the Vodafone 845) coupled with a way for kids to write simple apps for them is a catch-em-young policy that might pay off.
Yes, App Inventor is only ever going to be a toy, but giving an average kid a way to write apps for his/her phone? That's inspired.
There was, incidentally, a Scratch player for the iPhone, until the App Police banned it.