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Business

Corporate deal to help elderly Japanese

Apple, IBM and Japan Post have teamed up to make the lives of elderly Japanese easier in the future. They said they'd distribute iPads with special software enabling users to easily stay in touch with the outside world.

Insurance and bank holding company Japan Post formed a partnership with Apple and IBM to improve the lives of elderly people in the Asian country.

About one-fourth of Japan's population of 127 million is older than 65, and up to 5 million of them look likely to get specially prepared iPads until 2020 that will make it easier for them to cope with some basic tasks and stay in touch with others, particularly family members.

The three companies announced in New York on Thursday that to this end IBM would provide special cloud services and help create apps to improve seniors' quality of life by reminding them about taking necessary medication and other day-to-day things that matter most in the lives of the elderly.

Win-win situation?

"By handing iPads to the elderly, we can closely check in on them more often – not only confirming if they're doing fine, but also making sure that they're not involved in any trouble like a scam targeting the elderly," Japan Post said in a statement.

Watch video 02:23

Working magic with the iPad

The "Wall Street Journal" reported the company would conduct a pilot program starting later this year for six months, providing about 1,000 iPads to older citizens free of charge.

It added that as of April 2016, the program would be turned into a regular business. The scheme is also meant

to boost Apple's iPad sales

which have been sluggish in recent months. In the first quarter of the year, the firm sold 12.6 million iPads globally, a quarter less than in the same period a year earlier.

hg/bk (AP, dpa)

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