emporia, the Austrian innovator, has already sold 16 million smartphones and button cell phones for older people
World’s first cell phone for seniors introduced 20 years ago
LINZ, Austria & FRANKFURT, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Something of a sensation was sparked at the end of February 2003 in Cannes when the small Linz-based company, emporia Telecom, traveled to the 3GSM World Congress (rebranded today as MWC Barcelona) on the Côte d’Azur. They brought along with them a small cell phone featuring large keys, an emergency call button and a ringtone that whines like a baby. This was the unveiling of the world’s first cell phone for senior citizens.
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emporia owner Eveline Pupeter: “We launched the world’s first cell phone for seniors 20 years ago.” Photo: emporia/Markus Zahradnik
Twenty years later, emporia has sold around 16 million cell phones, and currently three million people make calls with the easy-to-use smartphone or keypad cell phone that were developed and designed in Austria. The product range is also being successively expanded to include tablets, watches, health products and accessories.
The most important parameters have always been the simple menu navigation and operability, good readability and finely tuned loudspeakers, large keys (or control panels), robustness and an emergency button just in case.
“Still today, every emporia push-button cell phone and smartphone is equipped with the patented emergency button, because safety remains something essential in old age,” says Eveline Pupeter, sole owner and Managing Director of emporia Telecom.
emporia works closely with universities and research institutions such as Cambridge, TU Chemnitz, MIT and Johannes Kepler University in Linz. In addition, Europe’s only smartphone manufacturer conducts intensive field research among senior citizens and works together with them to develop the best solutions for simple communication. “Even though our phones are easy to use, they’re still absolutely state-of-the-art in terms of technology,” underlines Pupeter.
In 2021 and 2022, emporia was voted seniors’ smartphone brand of the year by retailers in Germany. In the summer of this year, emporia will launch its first 5G senior smartphone. And this model will also embody the slogan “Simple is the new smart”. Is this slogan really the program, we ask? “Yes, no matter what we invent, design or produce, ease of use is our top priority. My warrant is: the future is simple,” pledges Eveline Pupeter.
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