Fujitsu and Orange partner for "senior" smartphone

Fujitsu and Orange partner for “senior” smartphone

19 FEB 2013
Stylistic S01

Orange announced a deal which will see it offer a smartphone from Fujitsu which is targeted at “senior” users, marking what was described as the Japanese vendor’s “first extensive foray into the smartphone market outside Japan”.

Called Stylistic S01, the device is said to feature “human-centric technologies that Fujitsu has cultivated for over a decade”, while also offering features “designed to reduce barriers to smartphone adoption by maximising ease of use”.

This includes a “unique screen technology” which requires users to apply the same level of pressure to on-screen icons as they would buttons on a keypad, to help avoid accidental inputs and improving accuracy.

It features a graphic user interface with “extra-large icons” and a simplified layout to ensure straightforward navigation.

Also on the spec sheet is audio technology which optimises the frequency range based on a user’s age, making it easier to hear, and the ability to slow down the speech of fast-talking callers without lowering the pitch or changing the length of the conversation.

While the device is Fujitsu’s first attempt to build its smartphone business outside of Japan, it is not its first product targeting seniors – it has offered devices which form part of Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo’s Raku-Raku line for some time.

Indeed, Stylistic S01 is a “redesigned version” of DoCoMo’s Raku-Raku Smart Phone F-12D.

In a statement, the Japanese number one operator talked-up its role in the partnership, stating that it “collaborates with device manufacturers to develop diverse handsets with innovative features”, and “developed the F-12D model together with manufacturer Fujitsu”.

However, according to earlier reports, Fujitsu does not plan an international launch for its mass-market smartphones.

The company is looking to counter slowing growth in its home market, where it is facing tough competition from both international device makers and its domestic counterparts.

“We are committed to the success of this partnership as we strive to expand our smartphone business overseas, while advancing the promotion of Japanese technology worldwide,” said Nobuo Otani, corporate SVP at Fujitsu.

Stylistic S01 will be sold in France from June, according to the DoCoMo statement.

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Steve Costello

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