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Fujitsu's Android smartphone for grandparents set to go on sale in France

Fujitsu's Raku Raku smartphone, originally designed for the Japanese market, is going to be sold in France by local operator Orange this coming June.
February 19, 2013

People are having less kids today than they were just a couple of decades ago. Put another way, countries are getting older. Now there’s nothing wrong with old people, one should respect their elders, but today’s gadgets are definitely not meant for them. There are way too many buttons to push, interfaces are confusing, and there’s so much wrong that it kind of makes you feel sad to watch someone old try to use something like the Galaxy S3.

Enter the Raku Raku F–12D, a smartphone made by Fujitsu for the Japanese market. It has an Android skin that can best be described as “Made for Seniors”. The buttons are large, most of Android’s options are removed, and it’s basically a feature phone, but with the power of a modern device. That means there’s a web browser, high resolution camera, and things that cheap feature phones for old people don’t have. Plus, do you honestly think Grandpa wants to pull one of those giant feature phone bricks out of his pocket so he can tell everyone around him that he’s too old to figure out technology?

This phone, the Raku Raku, sounds great, doesn’t it? The French operator Orange thinks so too, which is why they’re going to beging selling the device in France as the Stylistic S01. Expect it to land on store shelves in June. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.

While we’re on the topic of phones for old people, aren’t today’s phones pretty much just giant screens? Why then doesn’t Samsung or HTC or Sony or anyone else for that matter make a “Grandpa Mode” that when activated simply transforms the UI into something that old people don’t have a problem with? Should be easy enough to do, right? If custom launchers exist, why can’t someone make one for their parents?