Feeds

Mobe-maker flogs self-designed phones ... to your KIDS

Custom phones for custom people

Website security in corporate America

UK mobile phone company OwnFone is pitching a £55 handset which can only call up to 12 pre-programmed numbers, betting that the ability to create your own buttons and colour scheme will blind users to the price.

OwnFone is a brand spun out by CyCell, which already provides customised handsets locked to the Vodafone network for Parkinson's sufferers and Addison Lee employees, but with OwnFone the company hopes to break into the mass market and has provided a cheery video showing how the process works.

The idea is to create your own credit-card-sized handset with two, four, eight or 12 pre-programmed buttons. The phone can receive incoming calls, but has no keypad so can only dial and loaded numbers and can't send (or receive) text messages at all.

It hasn't got a screen either, just a couple of buttons for volume and one to switch off the phone (which promises a shelf life of over a year, in the hope of appealing to the glove-compartment demographic), making it simple to use and of limited value to a thief.

The product isn't explicitly pitched at children, though that's clearly the target audience. The company reckons an OwnFone might be ideal to take clubbing or somewhere else you might want a disposable mobile, but a Nokia 100 would have a better battery life for a lot less money, and for a tenner less than an OwnFone one could get the infinitely-more-attractive Motorola Gleam.

The OwnFone dose have that retro feel, and limiting calls to a handful of labelled numbers might have value to some people though that can equally-well be done on the network side these days. At more than half a ton (plus a minimum of £7.50 connection charge) you'll have to really like the look of the phone, or really hate LCD screens, to make it worthwhile.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.