Daily Video: Why 'Dumb' Feature Phones Could Make a Comeback

 
 
By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-03-23 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today's video focuses on why some mobile phone buyers are choosing to buy basic "feature" phones rather than more expensive smartphones that are less private and more vulnerable to hackers.

"smart" means large, expensive, insecure, complex and redundant. So they are dumbing down their phone purchases.

 
Google Tablet, Laptop to Run Android, Chrome OS Hybrid: Report

DAILY VIDEO: Google plans tablet and laptop running Android, Chrome OS hybrid; Salesforce releases...

Windows Server 2016 Debuts at Microsoft Ignite Conference

DAILY VIDEO: Microsoft's Windows Server 2016 debuts at Ignite conference; Docker now runs on Windows...

Salesforce, Other Suitors Reportedly Considering Twitter Buyout

DAILY VIDEO: Salesforce reportedly considering buying Twitter; Apple unveils public version of iOS...

Apple iPhone 7 Users Report 'Hissing' Noise That May Prove Innocuous

DAILY VIDEO: "Hissing" iPhone 7s reported, but that may be a normal noise; Microsoft delivers Version...

Google Smartphone, VR Headset Expected to Debut at Oct. 4 Event

DAILY VIDEO: Google expected to unveil smartphone, VR headset at Oct. 4 event; Ellison claims...

Samsung Says Green Charging Light Hallmark of Safe Note7 Handsets

DAILY VIDEO: Samsung Note7 recall update: How to ID a non-defective handset; Oracle launches a major...

Google to Roll Out Allo Messaging App on Sept. 21: Report

DAILY VIDEO: Google reportedly launching Allo messaging app Sept. 21; Intel, GE partner to make...

iPhone 7 Plus So Far More Popular Than iPhone 7

DAILY VIDEO: iPhone 7 sales patterns contrast with those of iPhone 6 and 6s; mobile carriers unveil...

Apple Says iPhone 7 Sales Start With Some Models Already Sold Out

DAILY VIDEO: Apple says some iPhone 7 models are already sold out; Qualcomm pushes for more dual...

Apple Says It's Fixed iOS 10 Bug That Disabled Some iPhones, iPads

DAILY VIDEO: Apple's new iOS 10 update disables iPhones, iPads for some users; Samsung to limit Note7...



Read more about the stories in today's news:

 
 
 

For the past two years, smartphone sales have declined in Japan, which raised eyebrows there because Japan has long been a global leader in mobile phone trends. Some 5.3 percent fewer smartphones were sold in Japan in 2014 than in 2013.

Meanwhile, shipments of dumb "flip-phones" rose by 5.7 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. Dumb phones—also called "feature phones"—are now eating away at smartphone sales in Japan. Could this be a sign of a future worldwide trend? Here are some potential reasons why.

The first is the same reason that significant minorities of PC users replaced some or all of their PC or laptop use with tablets once that form factor came along—the high cost of mobile data. Next many smartphone users will realize that they're wasting money on the high cost of mobile data and can do everything they currently do with a dumb phone.

The next reason is that as with tablets in comparison with PCs, dumb phones can be simpler to use. With a flip phone, opening the phone answers the call and closing it hangs up. It's slightly simpler than phone calls on a smartphone and a little more gratifying—especially the act of hanging up on somebody.

The third reason is that polls asking phone buyers what's most the important feature usually rank battery life as the number one thing they're looking for in a phone. In the smartphone world that means lasting more than a day is good, while less than a day is bad. Meanwhile, phones like Microsoft's recently announced $29 Nokia 215 feature phone boasts 29 days of battery life.

Finally, there's a growing sense that smartphones enable unknown companies, governments and criminals to invade privacy at will and there's really nothing anybody can do about it. Except get rid of the smartphone and opt for a dumb phone.

Altogether these factors suggest that feature phones will continue t make a comeback and become one of the many options users have when deciding how their mobile phones fit into their overall lifestyle and gadget lineup.

 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rocket Fuel