The Full Spectrum

Aug 28 2012   12:24PM GMT

OwnFone could be onto something…

jscott1 Profile: jscott1


Today has seen me get very excited about the simplest looking technology.

During my usual internet browsing – ok, Twitter – I came across a website called OwnFone.

The idea behind the company is to create a cheap, simple to use and customisable phone that users can design on the web and get delivered to their door.  

The process begins with a prospective customer visiting the website and picking two, four, six or 12 contacts to have custom buttons on their OwnFone. This would be perfect for say children who just need Mum and Dad’s mobile numbers, or elderly relatives who need sons, daughters and healthcare workers within easy reach.

Next you choose a design to make the phone standout and then which tariff you want to be on. The bonus with these is they are only based on minutes, so cost as little as £7.50 a month and only need 30 days’ notice to cancel them without any hidden fees.

Once all this has been filled in online, the company makes your customised OwnFone and posts it out to you, full charged – which it claims lasts three days – and ready to use. As well as being simple, it is safe, as the phone numbers on your buttons are not stored on the handset but on a central server so no one can steal details.  

So, why would I like one? Well, another aspect of the OwnFone is you can divert calls from your usual smartphone to the device. As an avid music festival goer, I would love to be able to create something like this with my friends so we all have each other’s numbers stored but don’t lose or have stolen our more expensive handsets.

Other suggestions are for joggers so they don’t have to have a hefty handset in their pockets or holidaymakers not wanting to lose their phones under sandcastles or in nightclubs.

Now, the phone itself costs £55, but this does include delivery and a 12 month warranty, plus, as I already mentioned, you aren’t stuck in a long term contract either. You can also change numbers for free, although there is a £5 charge for a new button to be sent through the post.

Negatives include no voicemail, a £35 charge to replace a stolen handset and the fact it won’t work abroad, but I genuinely think this is something that could take off for both the less tech savvy user and those on the move who don’t want their pricey smartphone getting trashed.  

I will follow the company’s process keenly and have already started to think who would make the cut for my friend’s buttons…

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