Best Buy buys Jitterbug phone maker GreatCall for $800M

"New: Tech for seniors," reads one of the company's new ads.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister

Best Buy has been targeting seniors in its email advertising, too.

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

We're all getting older. I mean of course we are, but so is the population as a whole -- and big-box retailer Best Buy is planning to take advantage of that by snapping up a proider of electronics and services designed for seniors. Today, the company announced it's acquiring GreatCall for $800 million in cash.

GreatCall is perhaps best known for its easy-to-use Jitterbug phones, which the company's sold for over a decade, but it also provides connected health and urgent care services. The company says it currently has over 900,000 paying subscribers.

"The acquisition is a manifestation of the Best Buy 2020 strategy to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs. It is specifically focused on addressing the growing needs of the aging population with the help of technology products, services and solutions," reads a portion of Best Buy's press release.

As you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post, that strategy is already underway -- that's from an email newsletter ad that Best Buy sent out earlier this month titled "NEW: Tech for seniors."

Here's the full email ad, in case you're curious how Best Buy is positioning itself. As you can see, there's already one GreatCall device on display:

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET