Fujitsu Planning Senior-Friendly Smartphone

By Khurram Aziz email: | Dec 28, 2012 10:12 PM EST

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Japanese technology company Fujitsu is joining the smartphone market in the U.S. and Europe with new handsets designed specifically for senior citizens.

The user-friendly devices, planned for 2013, are part of a strategy unveiled by Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto.

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"As the Japanese market has already hit a peak, we have to sell devices overseas to increase our sales numbers," Yamamoto told The Asahi Shinbun.

The first smartphone from Fujitsu to be seen outside its home country will be the Raku-Raku Smartphone (easy-to-use smartphone), unveiled in Japan in the summer.

The Raku-Raku enables users new to touchscreen devices to operate the phone more easily with controls that can tell the difference between a finger stroke and a tap. Apps are also more responsive, and give greater feedback for ease of use. For example, when a user touches an icon on the smartphone, the color of the icon changes to let the user know that it has been selected, and if they continue to press the icon, the phone vibrates to confirm the selection.

The smartphone has a 4-inch 800x480 display, 1.4GHz Snapdragon S2 MSM8255 processor and runs a modified version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

However, the company said it has no plans to bring its higher-end Arrows smartphones to markets outside Japan.

"We don't have the luxury of spending huge amounts of money to promote a brand, like Samsung," Yamamoto said.

Japanese companies have been struggling to make inroads in the smartphone market which is dominated by U.S., South Korean and Taiwanese firms. For example Panasonic recently announced that it was withdrawing from the European market after only a year.

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