Vodafone, having spent the last 20 years giving us the latest, most advanced handsets that offer a array of multimedia delights such as digital cameras, MP3 players and even movies on the go has realised that sometimes simple is the best way forward. The company today announced the launch of a mobile phone handset designed for the older generation.

The phone surprisingly, has more rather than less buttons on it, but all meant to help navigation around the device.

Before creating the exclusive phone with Sagem, Vodafone surveyed amongst over 1,200 people in the UK. Nine out of ten of them believed that being up to date with technology made it easier to keep in touch with friends and family. However, according to Vodafone over a third believed that advances in modern technology had made life more complicated in general, rising to over half amongst the over 55s.

“We've undertaken extensive research across a number of countries and a large number of our customers have told us that they want a simple handset that does the basic functions well, so they can stay in touch with family and friends and organize their lives.” says Tim Yates, chief marketing officer of Vodafone UK.

The answer? The Vodafone Simply mobile phone with dedicated buttons to perform a single task. Buttons include a home key to take you back to the main menu, a contacts button to whiz you off to your numbers, a text message button that flashes like a landline answer machine when you have a message, and a hold lock that disables the keypad rather similar to those found on MP3 players.

Vodafone has also focused its efforts with Sagem on creating a large colour screen and large well-spaced buttons to avoid misdialling or mistexting. The phone will also come with a cradle to make is easier to charge.

The final attempt at appeasement is the promise of a simple 20-page manual and on screen hints and tips if you need them.

Vodafone Simply will be available from 24 May and will costs £80 on prepay and free with a contract.