Custom-Printed OwnFone Makes You Choose Your Friends Wisely

Illustration for article titled Custom-Printed OwnFone Makes You Choose Your Friends Wisely

While most companies are pushing phones to have bigger screens and more processing power, OwnFone is taking things in the other direction with these extremely simple, custom printed dumbphones. With an OwnFone, you can take calls, and call people you know. That's it.

Before ordering an OwnFone, you choose up to twelve contacts and each gets their own dedicated button on the phone's custom-printed face; there's no option to dial out to anyone else, ever. This makes operating an OwnFone exceedingly simple. If you want to talk to someone you press their button, all the numbers are stored in the cloud.

Of course, there are a lot of limits to the design. Changing someones number involves calling support, and getting a new name on one of the buttons requires replacing the faceplate. There's also that bit about being limited to who you can call. As such, OwnFone is being pitched mostly as a phone for children, the elderly, or for use as a backup phone. Right now, it's only available in the UK, and at a cost of around $87 (and a required monthly plan of $12 per month), they're a bit expensive for such limited functionality. Still, print-customization in combination with such a stripped down approach is sort of a neat idea, maybe someone can find a way to do something cooler with it, and for cheaper. [The Verge]

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If they got the price down to even five bucks a pop, I could see these being used as fancy business cards.