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Saturday, May 21, 2005
A back-to-basics mobile launched

Vodafone is launching a back-to-basics mobile phone in response to customer demand for simplicity. Vodafone Simply will be available in two handsets offering just voice and text services.

Both phones have a large screen with legible text and symbols, and three dedicated buttons for direct access to the main screen, contacts and messages.

The pared down phones represents a backlash against the drive to create more and more advanced services.

The Vodafone Simply Sagem VS1 is a curvy, silver handset while the VS2 is straight and black.

A pre-paid handset will cost 80 while people opting for a monthly price plan will get the handset free.

"We have many customers who want the latest mobile phone with all the advanced services from full track music downloads to video calling and mobile TV," said Peter Bamford, chief marketing officer at Vodafone.

"We also have customers who just want to make and receive call and text messages on their mobile phone," he said.

The need for a simplified handset, especially for older people, is borne out by a survey conducted by consultancy firm Cap Gemini last year.

It found that there was a huge mismatch between what mobile operators wanted to provide for customers and what they actually wanted.

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