Mobile technology: still too complicated

Top of many Christmas lists this year will be a new mobile phone, but a smartphone may well prove to be an unused present. According to 20% of 4,500 consumers in nine countries, smartphones are extremely frustrating simply because onscreen keyboards are too small for fingers.

This research supports the most recent OFCOM study which shows 95% of the over 65 age group do not use a smartphone. In the 55-64 age group, the use of smartphones remains low at 17%. The research, by SSI, cited poor battery life as a further frustration by 37% of respondents.

The research once again demonstrated that more functionality and complexity within smaller devices is not what people want from new technology with consistent comments such as – “I have no use for this functionality” and “I do the same with another device.”

“To fully integrate into people’s lives, technology has to be easy to use,” said Albert Fellner, the founder of emporia Telecom. “This latest research demonstrates again a real opportunity to address this anxiety and create something that is both stylish and easy to use for anyone who finds mobile technology unnecessarily complicated.”

According to OFCOM, 39% of over 65s do not use any of the functionality of a mobile beyond making voice calls: no uploading of pictures; playing music; gaming; or social networking. Only 19% use the camera. SSI identifies the clock as the most used feature on phones, 43% use it all the time and a further 40% very often.

emporia Telecom handsets are designed with ease of use as a differentiator, with a focus on accessible form factors: larger keyboards; clear sharp screens; loud ringtones and visual cues; long battery life; and easy to use menu structures with adjustable text size. Notably primary functions are accessible from a variety of dedicated buttons which include power, volume, key lock, torch and clock.