Senior citizens send phone makers a KISS message

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid! That’s the message that older users of mobile phones have given the handset makers. New research by market intelligence specialist, In-Stat (  ) indicates that for consumers 55 and older feel: the simpler, the better.They are not at all interested in phones with a gaming-oriented form factor,” says Greg Potter, Research Analyst. “On the other hand, those who are 55 and older prefer, by a significant margin, the use of a numbered keypad over a QWERTY keyboard, which was unexpected.” Other key findings: Users 55 and over are not interested in expanding how they use their cellphones. They less likely to have memory card slots, Bluetooth,Wi-Fi, and email on their phones, suggesting they use less advanced cellphones… and are less likely to be using Wi-Fi hotspots for increased reception.

The report : “Phones Targeting 55-and-Older US Demographic: Hardware Feature Differentiations”, is based on In-Stat’s fifth annual future phone study which identifies and quantifies users’ interest in the features and capabilities of their current phone and in what they want in their next phone, differentiating between the 55-and-over and under-55 age groups.

In India a very small number of hand set makers has absorbed the message that senior citizens are customers too: iBall has launched the Senior mobile phone “Aasaan” ( easy), designed for elders with features like large fonts, enhanced sound and a useful feature, an SOS button. Within 7 seconds of pressing the button, the handset sends a siren to alert the surrounding people know that the person is in trouble.. It also sends SMS to pre-defined 5 numbers and starts dialing those numbers automatically one after another. till one call is attended. The iBall Aasaan costs Rs 3200. 

Feb 15 2011