Selling Cellphones to the Gray Generation

NTT Docomo's Raku Raku Phone Basic SNTT Docomo's Raku Raku Phone Basic S


"Raku Raku" is a Japanese term that can be translated as "Easy Easy", and if that doesn't give you a clue to the way this new phone from NTT Docomo works, check out the rest of the name: Phone Basic S. There's also a Premium version of the Raku Raku but we'll focus on the Basic S as it's been specially designed to appeal to seniors.

No-nonsense cellphones even a nonagenarian can useNo-nonsense cellphones even a nonagenarian can use


NTT Docomo is one of Japan's largest mobile providers and competition is fierce in the country's demanding cellphone market. Not only are no existing marketing niches ignored; providers are also extending their product lines to cover new emerging markets - the biggest being that of Japan's rapidly growing gray generation.


You might think ¥28,560 (about $275) is kind of pricey for a cellphone with "Basic" in its name, but buyers in its target market will be getting exactly what they need: a phone that eschews the cutting edge technological capabilities in favor of making the fundamentals, well, more fun to use:

  • Bigger numbers on wider spaced keys
  • Voice activated address book
  • Situation specific mail templates
  • Built-in pedometer
Yes, a pedometer - the Raku Raku Phone Basic S is a mobile and so are their intended owners. NTT Docomo released the no-nonsense "old school" phone on May 22 and the main promo campaign is already ramping up... just in time for Father's Day

To see more noteworthy Japanese inventions, sign up for my latest articles here,

Steve Levenstein