18 July 2007

Firms snub ‘mobile for elderly’

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Life Phone
The BBC reports that UK stores are refusing to stock a mobile handset aimed at the elderly because it “fails to fit their customer target”, says the phone’s distributor.

Stewart Smith, head of Communic8, also says that he had found no network operator prepared to partner with the makers of the Emporia Life handset.

The £170 ($320, €230) handset features easy-to-use buttons, a simple display and a large red panic switch on its back.

Charities for the elderly have accused the mobile industry of ageism.

Austrian-based manufacturer Emporia are aiming the phone at the over-50s but, despite a large potential market, has found it a hard sell in the UK.

“We are in discussion with a number of retailers, but particularly when it comes to the mobile networks, they find it hard to see where this kind of device fits within their brand,” said Mr Smith, managing director of the UK distributor Communic8.

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