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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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  • Expensive Price (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:29PM (#34260778) Journal

    Is it me or does £60 to £80, or about $95 to $127 dollars seem extremely overpriced for a phone with essentially no features?

  • Re:Expensive Price (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sgtstein (1219216) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:33PM (#34260836) Homepage
    Have you ever happened to look at what a normal smart phone costs these days when unsubsidized? I do realize that the price is still high but I have a feeling that's more so due to the low sales and manufacture numbers compared to other phones.
  • Re:Expensive Price (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:34PM (#34260878) Journal

    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.

  • Ergonomics? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xanthines-R-yummy (635710) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:36PM (#34260918) Homepage Journal
    Is there a reason they designed the phone to look like a remote control or a weird pager? At least the other phones have some added capabilities to make up for the uncomfortable form factor. They might as well have put some more thought into making it comfortable to use in addition to ease-of-use.
  • Re:Expensive Price (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:40PM (#34260990)

    it does have a small LCD screen on the top of the device that shows the caller ID

  • Technophobes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:44PM (#34261072)
    Condescending much?

    How about for people you don't need extra stuff/crap and just want a fucking phone? I'm a Unix/Windows SA and systems programmer with 4 computers at home (Windows and Linux) and have managed everything from Crays to PC - so, hardly a technophobe - and I still use my Qualcomm QCP-1900 from 1998. It cost me $200 with no-contract and my service is still $15/month (no contract). The thing still provides 6 hours of talk and two-weeks of standby.

    Sure, text and web might be nice - sometime - but I don't really need/want to be that "connected" all the time.

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

    by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:45PM (#34261084) Journal

    I'm pretty sure you can get all the features this phone has in a free phone with a cheap voice plan, and just ignore the other features.

    Which makes this phone's release an art project, not part of a business plan.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:47PM (#34261138)

    A jitterbug cell phone is what they should have been shooting for:
    http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/2045/jitterbugcellphone.jpg [imageshack.us]

    It's a basic phone with oversize numbers on the screen, louder than normal speaker, and big buttons, generally geared towards the senior citizen market.

    The only problem is the jitterbug isn't a model you can buy (itself based on some Samsung phone iirc) and use on any service but rather an overpriced prepaid service (and I'm not against prepaid).

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:53PM (#34261258) Journal

    Does anyone actually use speed dial on dumb phones?

    Usually it's so complicated to program (and every phone is different) that it's easier just to memorize the damned number.

    The biggest change in my life when I switched to a smartphone is that I finally started using the internal address book.

  • by elysiana (1152995) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:40PM (#34261970)

    On the one hand, I can see this being useful for people like my aunt, who have an "emergencies only" cell phone. Easy to understand, no frills, no chance of accidentally going online. I can also see it being useful for those who just don't want to bother with all the extras that are on phones anymore. Even my "dumbphone" has a camera, a media player, texting, and online capabilities, and I don't really need or want all that (Except texting. You can't take away my texting).

    On the other hand, I can't help but feel that pandering to an already technophobic crowd only makes their fears seem more substantial (to them, at least). With technology changing so incredibly rapidly, it doesn't seem like the best course of action is to put them in a bubble and tell them it'll be okay, we won't let the bad bad digital phone hurt them. Technological advancements aren't going to go backwards; at some point these people are going to have to learn something new.

    Mixed feelings.

  • by molo (94384) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:09PM (#34262388) Journal

    This phone, the firefly, has just 5 buttons: call mom, call dad, phonebook, call, hangup.

    http://www.fireflymobile.com/store/firefly/ [fireflymobile.com]

    -molo

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

    by treeves (963993) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:25PM (#34262578) Homepage Journal

    100% pure water is ... dangerous for your health

    Please don't spread this lie. If you rely on water to get all the carbonates, chlorides, sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, etc. that you need, you probably should try eating food!

    If I drink a glass of water with no ions in it except hydronium and hydroxyl, it will cease to be so as soon as it touches my mouth, and if you tell me that it will leach out all the minerals in my body, that would be true of any water that contains a lower concentration of those ions than the fluid in my body does, but it would be hard to drink enough water for that to matter. Your body (specifically your kidneys) does a good job of maintaining homeostasis and keeping the electrolytes it needs and getting rid of the rest, whether you drink water with 50ppm of sodium chloride or water with zero electrolytes.

    As for the taste, you're right.
    But that's all it is. A matter of taste.

  • by lennier (44736) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @09:38PM (#34263688) Homepage

    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).

    It also includes cordless phones for the home.

    I bought a cheap cordless a while back when my existing one broke. The thing has a completely unpenetrable UI, by which I mean:
    * It has a numeric keypad, okay so far
    * It has a one-line LCD with a display for the typed number (ok so far) and a number of indicator icons (potentially good or bad)
    * It has the standard send/end/power keys
    * It also has a key with an icon of a clockface and an unrecognisable squiggle, which I don't know what it does. As far as I can tell, it doesn't do anything related to displaying or setting the time.
    * It has three blank context-sensitive function keys underneath the LCD, leaving me completely dependant on the icons to describe their functions
    * Typical LCD icons are: 'Half-circular arrow pointing counterclockwise', 'Rectangular grid of dots', 'Venn diagram of wo overlapping circles, one full, one empty'

    I discovered by trial and error that 'Venn diagram' icon seems to do a 'redial last number', and that 'rectangular grid' brings up a system configuration menu. However, 'counterclockwise arrow' doesn't seem to mean 'go back one level' like on every other phone. To get any further, I think I'll need to dig out the paper manual, which is somewhere in the garage along with 1,583 other empty boxes and manuals, most of which I've never needed to refer to.

    It's all just... very depressing. How hard can UI design really be?

    Very hard apparently, and icons don't make it easier.

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