Leave them kids alone

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Manufacturers, networks, distributors and retailers are always looking to exploit different market segments. The youth market in particular has a lot of attractions highly fashion driven, lots of disposable income but dealing with younger consumers can be fraught with peril.

Traditionally, the youth market has mainly involved prepay sales, but as the design and functionality of devices improves and prices come down, the market is ripe for greater exploitation. But at the same time, pitching to young people is something of a taboo.

Orange for one admits it doesnt want to be seen to heavily market products and services to under-18s. Even if teenagers dont like the idea much, the purchasing decision is down to the parent or guardian, points out a spokesman.

It is a policy decision that mirrors that of the other operators. All our advertising into the youth marketplace is always aimed at the over-18s, he says. At the same time, Orange wants to be viewed as the network of choice for under-25s, and is busily ranging new budget handsets for a younger crowd. It is complimentary about the new budget range from Israeli manufacturer Emblaze, specifically the Touch 7, and the low-end handsets from well established manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson.

The Emblaze range was very popular, and weve also developed a special version of the Sony Ericsson K510i designed by fashion guru Julien MacDonald, says the spokesman.

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