Vodafone “Simplifies” Handsets

Technology takes a back seat to useability as a rare vote of sympathy is given to technophobes.

Can’t get your head around a mobile phone? If not, then Vodafone has come up with an idea to help you: Vodafone Simply.

This is a range of new cut down handsets (no camera, video, etc) and basic navigation with universal layouts: a home button takes you back to the main screen, a contacts button accesses numbers, there’s a dedicated ring volume button, one button message retrieval and a single switch for keylocks. They also come with oversized keys and a large screen with chunky icons indicating signal strength, battery life and even a user’s own number.

Now while the techosnob in me wants to scream and shout and deride such concepts as dumbing-down, the realist sees the practicalities. My mum has trouble with mobile phones: text messaging, MMS, cameras and video are all a mystery to her. 50 per cent of over 55s, according to Vodafone, are likely to sympathise with this (otherwise) wonderful woman.

The traditional terror-inducing manual should be tame as a pussy cat now as well, with the German giant saying it is limited to just 20 pages and contains large diagrams and “plain English”. If you’re out and about when a moment of techno-terror strikes, on screen hints and tips are promised to help users out of any further difficulties.

Vodafone Simply may be sprinting in the opposite directly of Orange TV (announced just last week), but there may be just as many of us struggling to understand the technology that is already here, as those that want to take the next step…

Vodafone Simply handsets are available now, costing £80 on prepay and are free on a monthly price plan.

Vodafone UK

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