What is in this article?:
- Mobile Makers Set Sights on Grandparents
- Key Features for a New Market
"Seniors today are used to having access to technology. As they get older they will want access to the same functions, the same technologies," Kapsys CEO Aram Hekimian said.
BARCELONA -- As smartphone giants Apple (IW 500/9) and Samsung (IW 1000/25) battle for the wallets of tech-savvy youngsters, a growing number of manufacturers is trying to lure a fast-growing new market: their grandparents.
Handset makers at the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain, showed off a slew of new devices aimed at the hundreds of millions of older people put off by the complexity of the latest iPhones and Android-powered smartphones.
One of the leaders of the segment in Europe, Austrian firm Emporia, launched a new handset, the Emporia Connect, at the February 24-28 Mobile World Congress.
The sleek-looking black and silver flip phone is designed not to be "stigmatizing" yet easy enough for older buyers to use, said Emporia's general manager for France, Christophe Yerolymos.
It has a keypad with larger numbers and an emergency button that will send an SOS along with data pinpointing the location of the phone.
The phone features a system called Emporia Me, with an array of remote control features for the owner's family, allowing a child or grandchild to check the device's location, battery status, or ensure the volume is up.
While it is not a smartphone and has no mapping service, it does have an orientation feature that lets a user push a single button to get turn-by-turn audible instructions for returning to a car while on a shopping trip, for example.
"Emporia is a company in growth, strong growth, even in the heart of the economic crisis we're in at the moment in Europe," said Yerolymos.