BBB-SA director Mervyn Visagie, a former operations director of the Vodacom Service Provider Company (VSP), managing director of Vodacom Lesotho and Vodacom Congo (DRC), said the three Doro cellphone products to be marketed in South Africa are targeted at people over the age of 60 and have been fully certified and approved by ICASA.
“Senior citizens tend to find it increasingly difficult to understand and to use new technology as they grow older. Besides the difficulty of trying to deal with the complexity of ‘gee-whiz’ features that may ‘wow’ younger generations of consumers, the aging process makes it more difficult for them to read, listen to and handle devices that would otherwise make their lives a little easier.
“Doro does just that – by producing cell phones that are easier to read, easier to understand and use, easier to hear and easier to handle. In addition the Doro handsets feature an alarm button that triggers calls and SMS to five pre-selected numbers in case of emergency. The alarm calls continue until one is answered to provide ‘peace-of-mind’ for the user as well as loved ones,” he said.
Visagie added that Doro’s unique user-adapted design, exceptional quality and single-minded focus on a niche but important sector of the cell phone market is what attracted BBB-SA to partner with Doro.
Doro chief executive officer Jérome Arnaud said Doro’s entry into South Africa was influenced by the maturity of the country’s cell phone industry and market research that indicates that a high percentage of almost 5-million elderly South Africans are not being specially catered for when it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends with a device that is easy to use.
“Doro’s experience in more than 30 countries confirms that people over the age of 60 care less about extreme functionality and gimmicky features and more about being able to easily and comformatbly use a cell phone. Doro’s ability to turn sophisticated technology into products that are truly easy to use and that help people who face the challenges of aging to live an easier, safer and more fulfulling everyday life is what we are all about,” he said.
The three Doro cellphones to be sold in the South African market market are the range-topping Doro PhoneEasy® 615 that includes a camera, the Doro PhoneEasy® 410s gsm and the Doro PhoneEasy 341gsm. All include the “panic” button and have excellent design features, including raised edges, soft touch coating and widely spaced, concave keys, easy to read large format text and display and loud, clear sound. The Doro PhoneEasy® 615 and Doro PhoneEasy® 410s gsm also feature hearing aid compatibility.
“Simplicity, ease of operation through simple menus, clear, easy to read screens, ensure that the Doro cellphone products are perfectly suited to this niche but important and growing market,” said Visagie.
He added that the Doro handsets will be available in selected cellphone retail outlets before the end of the year.