This morning, a friend of mine asked if I could recommend a phone that his mum could use. Something simple and user friendly. I thought of a HTC One S. But maybe I should have suggested Fujitsu.
Yes, it's not a major player in the mobile market over on these shores, but what it has done is identify that there is money to be made out of the elderly. And it's going after that lucrative, untapped market with some new vigour.
Over in Japan it has launched what are called the Raku-Raku range of handsets. In case you don't speak fluent Japanese (and why wouldn't you?), that translates into "ease to use". The latest in the line is the (very simple and easy to remember) F-12D, which boasts bigger buttons and text specifically with an older audience in mind.
Predictably, it runs on Android. While no announcement has been made over the version number, we'd not be massively surprised to see it running Gingerbread 2.3.
Why? Well, simply because Ice Cream Sandwich seems to be the holy grail for all but a few handsets judging by the time it's taking to roll out. And who needs all the bells and whistles when Gingerbread will suffice? Bear in mind, this handset will be heavily simplified for ease of use.
Fujitsu is going to make double tapping a key part of this handset. One tap will simply highlight, rather than open an app. Which makes perfect sense.
I've lost count of the amount of times my dad has inadvertently opened something on his Motorola Atrix which I got him and did my best to simplify (not very well.) We're also told it'll come with a clickable screen. Which just brings the BlackBerry Storm debacle back to our minds.
At the moment, Fujitsu is planning a Japan-only launch but says it is eager to bring the F-12D to foreign markets. Lets hope. Though in our experience, parents and grandparents only tend to turn their handsets on once a year and when challenged, come back with "well if it's that important, they'll call the house phone".
Via Computer World