MWC 2019: Doro moves to boost range of care services to counter downturn in mobile hardware

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Doro MWC 2019 Peter Marsden downturn

The manufacturer is targeting over-65s with its new products

Doro unveiled services at the Mobile World Congress as it ramps up its services proposition in a bid to offset the downturn in mobile phone hardware affecting vendors globally.

The new products are centred around care services for the over-65s market.

Doro managing director for UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand Peter Marsden told Mobile News: “If you talk to any
manufacturer, the market is down by roughly 28 to 30 per cent. We’re down but not that much, as our speciality in the senior part of the market is still constant.

“We’re not shipping as much as last year and the year before, but we’re selling more higher-value products. Some bigger and new manufacturers have come in and taken market share as well.”

Apple, the world’s second-largest vendor, marked down its Q1 2019 revenue from $93 billion to $84 billion due to the downturn.

Despite market trends, Marsden confirmed Doro will launch new smartphones and feature phones in the second half of this year.

Last year, Doro acquired telecare company Welbeing, setting the groundwork for services products in the UK. The company already runs services in its native Sweden and in Norway. It is looking to acquire more Europe-based call centres to expand its services and is seeking third-party partnerships to offer concierge services that could include cab bookings and car breakdown aid.

One of its new services is ‘Response by Doro’, a subscription service priced at £15 per month. This notifies a network of trusted contacts or Doro’s call centre when a user who finds him or herself in an emergency presses the assistant button on the company’s handsets. If these contacts are unavailable, Doro call centres can send help. All its future devices will be compatible with the service, in addition to those that currently support it: the 8035, 8040, 7060 and 7070.

On the hardware front, Doro showcased its ‘SmartCare’ IoT devices. These comprise a 4G-connected hub, two door latches and four heat and motion sensors. They will cost £249 with a £15 monthly subscription service that will recognise and inform trusted contacts and the call centre of irregular patterns of activity and accidents. A ‘Pro’ version of Smart Care will be sold to councils for senior users who are wholly dependent on support.

With another service, ‘Check-up Calls by Doro’, the company can check up on seniors on the behalf of relatives if, for example, family members are away on holiday. Daily reports are sent through the app.

“There are up to 12 million seniors in the UK, which is a massive market,” says Marsden. “We’re super-strong in our niche, taking a 95 per cent market share, but we’re now able to talk to a wider audience. Services will be aimed at sons and daughters of seniors, and we’ll be making them aware of what Doro is.”

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