Thursday, November 12, 2009

Simplicity - a new computer for oldies

Full marks to Discount Age, the company that has launched the Simplicity computer. A wise choice of celebrity ensured that this new computer got a lot of radio and television exposure.

This 'simple' computer costs a bit more than your standard PC but for this you get an open source based computer with the Eldy software that hides all of the techno gunk allowing the user to get on with their simple applications of e-mail, browsing, printing etc. You also get a pile of videos showing you to use the thing.

It will be interesting to see how then venture gets on. My bet is that if somebody hasn’t bought a computer by now then this new product will not be enough for them to get out their credit card. Maybe it will be attractive children to buy one for their parent’s Xmas? The declared market for the product is the 50-plus. I don't think so, much more likely to be that group of the 70-plus who have tried to get their heads around using a PC but gave up but who still have a real requirement to be online - probably to keep in contact with their family.

The new computer is interesting, but I was more fascinated by the parent company, that sells a newsletter (£10/year) providing discount opportunities for the over -60s.

There are a lot of people trying to attack this market. Way back in 2007 I talked with Daniel Wilson when he started seniors discounts. It is amazing how this has grown. At one stage he tried to charge for membership but it appears as if this has now been dropped. I think Val Singleton and her friends might discover the problem for all people trying to charge for content – including the 50-plus - is the expectation that content is free. Dick Stroud

1 comment:

Chris Gosling said...

Really can't see this product doing anything worthwile . . they'll sell a few, but it'll fade.

Selling generalist online content to any demographic is not practical, but selling highly specialist content can work - although it can backfire.

My goodbye, 9 to 5 newspaper style site is taking off gradually on the back of the TV show, but I can't ever consider selling the content - most content is available free if you can be bothered enough to look carefully!