Phones for the blue rinse brigade: Vodafone goes simple

'Don't fancy your data much...'

'Don't fancy your data much...'

Vodafone is targeting the UK's oldies with a stripped-down handset and tariff combo.

The Vodafone Simply package will offer users nothing more than a mobile with voice and text messaging functionality.

The service will debut in the UK on 24 May with both a contract and pre-pay option. Two phones will be available with the Simply tariffs: the Sagem VS1 and VS2.

The handsets are reminiscent of fixed-line phones, featuring a large screen and three shortcut buttons to take gadget-o-phobes straight to their messages, launch screen and contacts book, with a side switch to lock the keypad.

With mobile penetration approaching 100 per cent in the UK, the Simply proposition is designed to appeal to the older generation, notoriously mobile-shy. There appears to be room for growth in the 65-and-above segment, where mobile penetration is around 50 per cent, according to analyst firm Forrester Research.