Japan’s Fujitsu has said it will begin its first sales of mobile phones outside the domestic market, starting with the release of its senior-friendly smartphone. Known as the Raku-Raku in Japan, the Android 4.0-powered device will be first released in its home country in August, but will make its debut in France sometime during the second half of the year, and on the carrier Orange.
Fujitsu currently does not sell any of its mobile phones outside of Japan, except for the occasional trial basis in China. The technology company admits that if the Raku-Raku is successful in France, it may open up to other European markets, even mentioning the U.S. as a possibility. Japan’s Nikkei business daily writes that Fujitsu used to be a dominant player in the mobile market, but now struggles with the saturation of smartphones, not to mention the popularity of Apple’s iPhone and other Android models from rivals like Samsung.
France wasn’t just chosen at random, as the European country has a quickly increasing demand for smartphones among the elderly population. Fujitsu feels the Raku-Raku is more innovative with its simplified interface that features large, easy to read icons, and is only capable of scrolling vertically, not side-to-side like most smartphones. New touchscreen technology also allows the device to be easier to use for first-time smartphone buyers. While it sounds like the odds are good that the Raku-Raku will debut in more worldwide markets, Fujitsu still says it has no intentions right now to sell its flagship Arrows smartphone series outside of Japan.[via Telecom Paper]