The Austrian based company which launched in the UK and Ireland in 2020 is celebrating its 30th birthday. emporia Telecom was founded by Albert Fellner on 29th April 1991 with the company located in his parents’ garage in Linz, Austria.
emporia develops, designs and manufactures easy-to-use smartphones, button cell phones and apps especially for the elderly and is successfully asserting itself as a niche player against global corporations such as Samsung and Apple. The company has sold 15 million devices across 30 countries.
Shortly after the turn of the millennium, emporia made the pioneering system change to become a developer, designer and manufacturer of mobile phones.
“Ease of use was and still is one of the outstanding features of all emporia devices”, says Eveline Pupeter, who has been the Managing Director of emporia Telecom for two decades and its sole proprietor since 2015.
“We quickly realised that commercially available cell phones were only of limited suitability for the needs of older people. We visited retirement homes and sat down with the residents and talked to them about their requirements of cell phones for senior citizens.
“The most important parameters were and remain: simple menu navigation and usability, good legibility and finely tuned loudspeakers, large buttons (or keypads), robustness and an emergency button for just in case.
“Even today, every emporia button cell phone and smartphone is equipped with the patented emergency button, because safety is and will remain an important issue in old age.”
The first emporia smartphone specially developed to meet the needs of the 65+ target group was launched in 2015.
“That was a quantum leap for our research and development work,” Pupeter continues; “The close cooperation with universities and research institutions such as Cambridge, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the Johannes Kepler University in Linz helped us a lot.”
The fifth-generation smartphones are now on the market. The emporiaSMART.5 boasts a triple camera for stunning photos, a lightning-fast octa-core processor and an intelligent Smartcover. “Even if our phones are easy to use, they are still absolutely state-of-the-art from the technical point of view”, Pupeter explains.
In addition to manufacturing easy-to-use smartphones, apps and button cell phones, emporia has been developing special training formats for senior citizens and training smartphone trainers for several years. “We are the only company in the world that offers a comprehensive concept for the target group of older people with telephones suitable for senior citizens, training concepts and a comprehensive training manual,” says Pupeter.