Most of us embrace our sophisticated smartphones, but for some the simplest cellphone can be daunting. The OwnFone is designed to minimize that intimidation, with a customizable face that gives them only the buttons they absolutely need.
Unlike most simple dumbphones, the OwnFone is custom-made for each individual user. During the ordering process you enter the names and numbers you want, along with a few options for color and design. When the phone arrives, it's already fully programmed and ready to use.
To keep things really simple, the OwnFone doesn't have a numerical keypad. To dial, you simply push one of the presets you set up while ordering the phone. The number of presets can vary from as few as two up to a maximum of 12, depending on a person's needs. This means no more scrolling through menus to find a contact list, or having to memorize long phone numbers.
While this probably covers the bases on an emergency phone for small kids or the elderly, it really is very limited. If anyone on your preset dial list changes their number, or if you simply want new people, you'll have to call tech support to make the changes and get a new faceplate sticker. At the same time, if the user is a child, old or not particularly tech literate, making it so one can't mess anything up by mashing buttons.
One good thing is that I can't see much of a market for stolen OwnFones, unless the thief wants to call "mommy."
Currently the OwnFone is only sold in the U.K., and sells for about $87. No word on whether they plan to make a version for other countries.