Doro handsets reaching maturity


Manufacturer expects to be an established brand in the UK smartphone market by 2016

Doro says it will become an established smartphone brand in the UK smartphone space by 2016 – following its latest handset release.

The Swedish manufacturer, which targets consumers over the age of 65, unveiled the Liberto 820 (pictured) smartphone at IFA in Berlin last Friday. It is Doro’s second smartphone to launch in the UK, following the Liberto 810 in October 2013.

Doro UK and Ireland managing director Chris Millington (pictured) said: “We dominate the senior market in the UK. We have to take that momentum and replicate it in smartphones. It took us two to three years to get ourselves established in the feature phone market, and it will be the same in smartphones.”

Physical buttons
The new device runs off Android 4.4.2, has a 4.5-inch touchscreen, eight-megapixel camera, video recording capability, FM radio, torch, 8GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot that can expand this by a further 32GB.

There are six physical buttons on the handset – turning the phone on/off, taking pictures, adjusting the volume, navigating menus, returning to the home screen and returning to the previous screen.

It also has HD voice capabilities, hearing aid compatibility and a pre-installed coaching feature in all core applications that provides a step-by-step guide on elements such as calling, texting, sending emails and browsing the internet.

Doro said it is likely the device would be stocked by retailers and operators from next month.

Touch point
Doro currently has supply deals with a number of UK operators and retailers including O2, Phones 4u, EE, Carphone Warehouse and Tesco.

Millington added: “When we started in 2007, mobile operators said they had no interest in selling to the senior market, but now they can’t want them more. It is great incremental business and gives them a really strong touch point with this massive audience that wants to consume technology.”

Since launch in 2007, Doro has concentrated on manufacturing feature phones for the senior market and, according to recent GfK figures, it held 86 per cent and 96 per cent in the UK value and volume markets respectively.

According to figures released in June by the Office for National Statistics, 11.1 million or 17.4 per cent of the population consisted of people over the age of 65 in mid-2013 – up by 290,800 from a year earlier.