Who needs a smartphone?

Posted by Emma Woollacott

It doesn't do email, it can't play music, it can't even text. All John's Phone does is make and receive calls - although this is more than certain more fully-featured phones have been able to achieve in recent months. You can see the appeal.

The Dutch company behind the phone, John Doe, expects John's Phone to be popular with technophobes and parents. "John’s Phone is the world’s simplest cell phone: you call, you hang up, and that’s it. John’s Phone is easy to use wherever you go," says the company.

All it does is make and receive calls - it doesn't hold contacts lists, it doesn't have a camera - it doesn't even have a screen. What it does have are large keys and three weeks' standby time. Users can turn the sound up or down and lock or unlock it - that's it.

There's also a speed-dial feature which, the company says, makes it perfect for children, and which stores up to ten numbers.

The phone does come with an address book - but don't get your hopes up. It's a paper book, with pen, that slots into the back of the phone. As the company points out, "These two unique accessories allow you to update your address file at any time, even when your phone is switched off".

The phone is unlocked, and therefore compatible with prepaid as well as postpaid national and international plans. There's a built-in quad band, meaning it can be used anywhere in the world except on the 3G networks in Japan and South Korea.

It comes in brown, pink, black, green and white - giving it another big advantage over the iPhone. Prices start at 70 Euros.