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Fujitsu to release seniors phone in US and Europe


Raku-Raku
Richard Handford

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Japanese vendor Fujitsu is attempting to grow its smartphone sales by targeting older users in the US and Europe.

The vendor plans to launch a version of its Raku-Raku Smartphone (pictured) in markets outside Japan during 2013, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun.

Fujitsu hopes to find a niche in international smartphone markets with its phone for seniors that has been overlooked by handset giants such as Apple and Samsung, although it will find itself up against specialists in this particular field such as Doro.

The company hopes international expansion will increase its total handset shipments from eight million units in fiscal year 2012 to 10 million units in fiscal 2014, equivalent to a growth rate of 25 per cent.

The company launched the Android-based Raku-Raku Smartphone in Japan last summer, although the Raku-Raku range has been around since 2004.

The country’s telecoms market is generally becoming more aware of the elderly as a significant market. The Raku-Raku handset is offered by Docomo which is also looking at other ways to target the older demographic.

However, Fujitsu is not specific about launch dates for its international expansion or whether it has struck agreements with any mobile operators to sell its handset in foreign markets.

The Raku-Raku handset runs a version of Android 4.0 and features an easy-to-read display, larger letters, a few simple apps and increased volume, all designed to attract the older demographic.

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