“Anti-iPhone” racks up sales from old people, retro geeks

I love this. It seems that a particular brand of mobile phones designed specifically for old people and children has been matching the iPhone for sales in Russia. The Just5 series features massive buttons, monochrome display and a bizarre “pop out” screen, and Just5 claims that so far during 2010 it has reached iPhone quantities of sales.

Check out this vid – it tells you everything you need to know about the phone:

(And if you have time, watch this video as well. It is the most endearingly awkward sales pitch for a phone I’ve EVER seen. Who though all that light bloom was a good idea? It looks like the guy is pitching from Heaven.)

The OEM behind this phone is called Orbita Telecom, which specialises in these kind of big-button phones. While the devices are specifically aimed at the very old and the very young, Orbita claims that sales in Russia have been huge thanks to the kitsch value of the device. Students, gadget geeks and others have apparently been buying it in droves – seemingly BECAUSE it is so deliberately low tech. This phone is proudly un-sexy, and holds hard to an incredibly limited range of functions. Hence, Orbita has been calling it the “anti-iPhone”.

What we think?

When you’re in a large area, it’s easy to lose sight of the edges. It can be easy to forget that no everyone wants a high-tech gadget or the latest application. Especially in less affluent areas, that kind of thing might be seen as wasteful. And if acheap, cheerfully chunky lump of a phone like this appeared in your area, it might be exactly the thing you want.  For a lot of people, the only functions that matter on their phone are voice calls and SMS. Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language, said “I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.” Add in a cute gimmick like the pop-up screen, and you might just have a winner.


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