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Anti-Smartphone Phone Launched For Technophobes 437

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-do-one-thing-and-I-do-it-well dept.
geek4 writes "A Dutch company has launched what it calls 'the world's simplest phone,' targeting users who are sick of new-generation models. Only capable of making and receiving calls, John's Phone is dubbed the world's simplest mobile phone, specifically designed for anti-smartphones users. It does not provide any hi-tech features. No apps. No Internet. No camera. No text messaging. All you have to do — in fact, all you can do — is call, talk and hang up."
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Anti-Smartphone Phone Launched For Technophobes

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  • Re:Expensive Price (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:31PM (#34260808)

    But having no features IS a feature!

  • Re:Expensive Price (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlanMJones (595762) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:33PM (#34260844) Journal
    The lack of features IS the expensive feature. Because of that the volume is low and the price per unit is higher to make it, I would expect.
  • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:36PM (#34260904)

    ...speed dial with enough memory to store ten numbers...

    Whoa whoa whoa....what now? What's all this fancy schmancy wizardry again? I'm expected to remember some arcane, complicated button combination simply to dial a phone number? It's always the same: you get something working just the way you want it, and some damn hot-shot wiz kid has to come along and make screw it all up.

  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:36PM (#34260908)

    I imagine old people will enjoy 3 weeks of battery standby time and not being pestered by SMS spam.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:36PM (#34260910) Homepage

    I think even the now disappearing "basic phones" have some sort of phone book/directory function. That's not mentioned in the summary. Also, I see it has no display of any kind. That is pretty bad. Even if this were an "anti-smartphone" there should be some sort of confirmation of the numbers pressed. That's just silly.

    And as far as aesthetics go, the think looks more like a remote control than a phone. They should style it to look more like an old style hand set and then just make it flat and shorter. The shape and size can still be basically the same but with contours that remind people of a speaker for the ear and a mic for the mouth with two circular areas. And it would help if it were actually a little bigger so that the microphone actually reaches the mouth.

    After all, people who would want such a phone would likely appreciate having the mic closer to the mouth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:42PM (#34261028)

    If they pulled all the crap out of it but did some serious engineering to optimize range and durability I could get them 10 sales instantly for our site people. We would probably pay TWICE that price. All they want is to be able to make calls on the edge of cell coverage after the phone has been knocked around in dusty environments and operated at -20C. New crappy phones often don't last a year and range seems to get worse with each new generation. They would fall in love with the things if they were water resistant as well...

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:45PM (#34261080) Journal

    According to TFA, the phone has a THREE WEEK standby time!

    Man, I'd almost give up my smartphone just for THAT.

  • Bah, speed dial. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:47PM (#34261126)

    If I pay a hundred bucks for simplicity, I don't want no fancy speed-dial. Kidding aside, the perfect no-frills phone already exists, it's called the Motorola F3 and has an e-paper display which is readable under all lighting conditions, big keys and hands-free mode. It runs forever on one battery charge, it's quite thin, it is comparatively rugged because it was designed for the inhospitable environments of third world countries, and it's one of the cheapest phones in existence. If you really just need a phone and can do with very limited SMS capability, then the F3 is about as good as it gets.

  • Re:Expensive Price (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rvw (755107) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:51PM (#34261236)

    What I mean is, there's almost no expensive components in this phone. Heck, it doesn't even have a screen. All it needs is the simplest or the cheapest microprocessors that is capable of making a call. Yet, it still costs £60 to £80.

    I suspect it's so expensive because it's probably produced in small quantities. On the other hand, older people might just want a simple phone and are prepared to pay a little extra. For most people it's not that much extra, and in the long run this might be a really cheap deal because the buyer probably won't need the newest model in a year or so.

    My parents have a Sagem VS-1 [amazon.co.uk], which is much simpler than the standard phone nowadays, but still much more complex than this phone. I think there's a huge market for simple phones, even ones without a screen.

  • Re:Technophobes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:07PM (#34261470)
    Exactly. I have a very basic PAYG phone from VirginMobile. $20. No frills, no web, blah, blah. Why? Because I simply don't/can't use it much.
    At work, no cell phones. Period. At home, landline and multiple PC's. If we're out with friends, we're out with friends, not dinking around on the phone.
  • Re:Technophobes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by godrik (1287354) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:11PM (#34261544)

    texting is a nice feature. But I must say I am very happy with my crappy basic phone. My shopping for phone session went something like:
    -"hello, I'm looking for a cheap phone that can call 911 and keep me in touch with my wife in case of emergency and that will last more than a week without being plugged in"
    -"Here is our cheapest nokia sir, have a good day"

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:24PM (#34261762) Journal

    If you're seriously considering this phone, especially paying extra for it -- have you seen it? RTFA.

    Let me put it this way: Why would you want a phone without at least an address book? I'm with you that it's gotten out of control, but why would I want a paper address-book stuck to the phone, so I can take it off the back, flip through it, and manually type that into the front? Every time I want to call someone, I'd have to do that.

    Or I can press probably fewer buttons than it would take to actually dial the number, and only have to remember the person's name.

    Yes, I do "just want a fucking phone." But this isn't just a fucking phone -- the paper addressbook does indeed scream "technophobe."

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:47PM (#34262808)
    The real reason why people want phones with no features is the terrible, absolutely terrible, user interface design of all mobile phones (and that includes smartphones).

    When a phone has no features other than dialling a number, then (for example for a brick with a simple keypad) the interface fits well with the hardware design.

    When a phone has multiple features and you have to press complicated and unintuitive key combinations to access them, then there's a mismatch between what the hardware is designed for (simple keypad for typing numbers) and what the software is designed for (lots of things that don't map well onto keypad interaction).

    The same is true with menu systems. Cursor keys are simply awkward ways of interacting, and menus are awkward ways of using limited screen space in general.

    What's really needed is for a good designer to invent a totally new hardware paradigm for mobile phones that actually makes sense for the kind of software features we expect on mobile phones. That's much easier said than done. Instead, we're stuck with old style phone handset designs on one side, and old style PC/GUI/WIMP designs on the other, and every mobile phone designer tries to combine them in different ways, hoping to hit the jackpot, but always failing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @10:05PM (#34263906)

    new UI design ey, new hardware paradigm ey...

    You mean like multi touch? Like just a big grid of apps you can flick through?

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @10:24PM (#34264096)

    Here I am with MOD Points but they wont do me any good because a bunch of idiots mod'd you +5 insightful.

    Old People? I mean, really, OLD people? Good grief I would love to meet you some time so this OLD person kick your ass right up into the space the should be holding your brain since I doubt you would miss it.

    If this phone did not drop calls, lasted weeks on stand-by, gave me 24 hours of talk time and had decent ergonomics I would gladly beat my iPhone AND my wife's Android phone into silicon dust because neither of them is a good phone.

    Old People.. The better part of you ran down the crack of your mothers ass.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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