One of the biggest names in mobile phones that are easy to use is Emporia, and it is taking on what is perhaps the toughest market in the world: the US.

Emporia's CLICK clamshell

The Emporia Click is a smart phone. Not a smartphone.

The two phones which spearhead the move are the Emporia CLICK first shown at IFA last year and the ruggedized Emporia Solid Plus. The bold move also takes Emporia into the Latin American market.

Both regions have dynamics which are unlike those found in Europe. North America is heavily carrier led, and getting their phones into the ranges of the networks will be very important to success. Historically it has been the Korean brands which have done well in the US however the strength of the senior market has already been demonstrated by GreatCall the mobile phone network for seniors and by Consumer Cellular which has been very successful with the Doro 410.

The Latin American market is quite diverse, again selling to networks is important but not as much as it is in North America. Many phones are sold on hire purchase, with the consumer paying a monthly fee, usually over ten months. It’s common for consumers to upgrade once the phone is paid off and then sell the old handset seconhand. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic works with older consumers who typically keep their handsets for very much longer than fickle teens.

The key to Emporia’s building the US market is Greg Foley, formerly of Samsung and Nokia who is an industry veteran and well placed to strike those all-important carrier deals.  He said  ”We’re excited to bring our easy-to-use mobile devices to multiple generations of families in the US, Canada and Latin America. We believe there are millions of consumers who simply don’t want complicated smartphones, distracting apps or expensive data plans, so we focus on high-quality products that offer simplified communication for those who need it most.”

The new EmporiaCLICK is  a simple,  stylish clamshell phone with a  piano lacquer finish and a stainless steel clasp. A side key easily takes one-click pictures with a VGA camera so that users can store pictures of their friends and families and send them as multi-media messages.  It has T4 and M4 hearing aid support, and extra loud audio and ring tones. High-powered vibration motors and a flashing LED light let you know when a call is coming in.

If you are going to CES you can visit Emporia at Booth 36262 in the South Hall, upper level at the Las Vegas Convention Center.