The beginning of the iNO brand can be traced back to 2008 when it decided to create a mobile phone to serve the elderly, which was a non-existent market at that time. Its first product, the iNO CP09 was launched in June 2009 at the PC Show and was a resounding success. Sales reached several millions dollars within a few months and the CP09 was featured by both the local and international press. Large button keypad, built-in torchlight and SOS-alert function (where one press of the SOS button triggers the phone to sms and dial out to four pre-programmed numbers) paved the way for CP09s to be a hit amongst seniors. This design philosophy of understanding in-depth the real needs of seniors carries on today with newer generations of phones for seniors.
A new era: Smartphones
Today, smartphones are no longer accessories but have become an integral and functional part of our lives. In 2012, the Company successfully introduced its first smartphone model (iNO ONE), thus laying the groundwork for the Company to build upon it expertise to explore use of smartphones for truly enabled-living using technology. The iNO ONE is the world’s first truly non-camera smartphone based on the Android 4.0 platform and has been certified by the Singapore military for use in sensitive areas. This non-camera phone is truly “for Singaporeans, by Singaporeans” as it addresses a uniquely Singaporean problem i.e. a sizable citizen-soldiers population and large defence-focused industries but constrained by the inability to use camera-equipped smartphones in their workplace. While the non-camera market is admittedly small, it gives the Company great satisfaction when fellow Singaporeans buy the phone and tell us with gratitude “how long they have been waiting for a product like the iNO ONE”.
The Future: Beyond Smartphones
iNO will continue to design, develop and market mobile phones for niche markets. What will never change is the fact that iNO will always be known as the brand that cares. A case in point: We took the risk to develop the world’s first senior citizen phone in 2009 and the world’s first non-camera smartphone in 2012 when none of the big brands were willing to do so. This spirit is exemplified by our brand “iNO”, which is an anglicised form of our motto: “爱的承诺“
Apart from phones, plans are underway to enter new consumer market segments. Watch out for more innovative and niche consumer products coming your way!
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