Fujitsu begins overseas expansion by offering senior-friendly Stylistic S01 smartphone on France Telecom-Orange

Fujitsu begins overseas expansion by offering senior-friendly Stylistic S01 smartphone on France Tel
Fujitsu appears to be branching out just a little bit with its mobile handsets. Last summer, the iconic Japanese electronics manufacturer introduced a smartphone for the elderly as a part of its Raku-Raku phone line. It went on sale in Japan in the latter half of 2012 and following an announced interest in possibly taking this senior-friendly smartphone to international markets, Orange in France is the first to work out a deal.

Raku-Raku means “easy easy” and follows a simplistic design and user interface that features large buttons and large text, akin to the equipment found on Jitterbug devices in the United States. The Raku-Raku devices, even the flip-phones, are way more packed with goodies however and have been available in Japan since 2001.

The Stylistic S01 runs on Android 4.0, but over a completely redesigned UI and the OS has been customized further to not require a Google log-in to start using the phone. In addition, the rest of the specs are not totally in the basement, albeit they are not leading edge by today’s standards. The S01 is water and dust resistant, features a Qualcomm 1.4GHz Snapdragon S2 CPU and 8MP main camera. It has 4GB of storage which is expandable via microSD, a front facing camera, and an 1,800mAh battery.

The screen is a 4-inch WVGA 800x480 display with “unique tactile feedback technology” which allows the user to touch to select, but then press to execute. Everything is displayed in large, easy to read and understand shapes and colors. For Orange, certain carrier-specific services will also be available on the Stylistic S01. Fujitsu has been working on “human-centric” features to its Raku-Raku line for over ten years so this smartphone is probably going to be a hit. The Stylistic S01 will be available on Orange in June.

We understand what you are thinking, “This is mid-range niche device for a niche market, what's the big deal?” We appreciate that line of thinking, however what is more significant than the device itself is that it is Fujitsu’s first major entry into a foreign smartphone market. What is even more significant about this is that Fujitsu stated the following with its press release: “We are committed to the success of this partnership as we strive to expand our smartphone business overseas, while advancing the promotion of Japanese technology worldwide.”

We will type it one more time to let that sink in, “as we strive to expand our…business overseas…advancing the promotion of Japanese technology worldwide.”

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Could this be the beginning of what will be an introduction of some hot Japanese technology finally making its way to other markets? We really hope so because Fujitsu makes some really sweet looking gear with some mighty impressive specifications.  We think the timing is perfect for another brand from Japan to join the fray.

sources: Fujitsu via Engadget

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