Monday, June 23, 2008

Why a Jitterbug?

The Jitterbug "senior cell phone" was introduced a couple years ago. The concept is of a simple to use wireless phone and service that is only a cell phone. No camera, no internet, no texting, no music. Do one thing and do it well: large buttons, large screen with large clear fonts, sized not for style and chic, but to fit the hand. Function over fashion.

This is exactly what attracts me. Good design, good interface, total user experience. Apple did this with the iPod and the iPhone, but no one was making a simple cell phone. The target market is the millions of aging baby boomers (like me) and many of their parents (like my 85-year-old mother-in-law), who are tech literate, but not wanting to deal with too much complexity at once. They don't need and don't want mobile music, just mobile talk!

I'm a four-year Treo user (and had a Palm Vx and Motorola phone for 8 years before that), so this was not going to be my main phone. Last year, I tried out an iPhone and would have kept it, except for the lack of AT&T service in our area (see my iPhone Lansing for details).

The Jitterbug is meant as a backup phone: my wife just got a Centro, so we are now only on Sprint, after 12 years on Verizon. and 4 years on both. Having two networks accessible makes me more comfortable for when things go awry. And maybe, just maybe, grandma will use the phone. She sure didn't take to the Nokia 6015i and the extra line on our Verizon family plan, now cancelled.

And, of course, I like gadgets, and like to try them out, and understand them.

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