Help the Aged

NOON -- Attention all grandparents: At last there's a mobile phone for you.

Yes, you dear.

An Austrian company has designed a mobile phone called Emporia Life that features "a large screen and display, oversized and easy to use buttons, a super loud speaker and ring volume [and] a powerful vibration alert," and a British company called Communic8 Ltd. is going to distribute it in the U.K.

I am particularly won over by Communic8's view of the market. It says that "mobile phones have become increasingly smaller, and stacked with complex features and wizardry." What timing! A marketing pitch using the word "wizardry" just as Pottermania strikes the Western World once more.

So the phone is a "no-nonsense, back-to-basics alternative that is sure to be welcomed by those who feel somewhat technically challenged by mobile phones on the market today."

I feel such an offer will appeal to more than just the so-called "senior generation." Only people aged 13-19 know about all the features on mobile devices, and even fewer actually use most of them.

But given the welter of cellphone offers out in the market, potential purchasers might be put off by one thing that's not so geared to the more mature user -- the price. It's available for £169.99 (US$346) as part of a Vodafone UK contract.

— Ray Le Maistre, Zimmer Frame Editor, Light Reading

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