Feature phones are in! Less sophisticated than smartphones, basic mobile phones such as the Nokia 3310 continue to appeal to users. Feature phones are not lacking in advantages, such as their reduced price and a battery life of several days.
Feature phones, these basic phones whose functionality is mostly limited to calls and SMS, are popular. According to our colleagues at the BBC, many consumers are abandoning their smartphone for a basic mobile phone. Between 2018 and 2021, Google searches related to feature phones exploded by 89% worldwide.
According to a study carried out by Deloitte, 1 in 10 Britons currently use a feature phone rather than a smartphone. According to figures published by Counterpoint, sales of basic mobile phones continue to increase. The analytics firm’s report estimates that one billion feature phones were sold worldwide between 2019 and 2022.
Also read: Dumb phones like the Nokia 3310 will now be taxed from January 1
Why do some users abandon their smartphone for a feature phone?
Light Phonea New York company specializing in feature phones, claims to have made record profits in 2021, with sales up 150% compared to 2020. The Light Phone was designed as an extra mobile phone for individuals who wish to disconnect from their smartphone for a while.
According to Counterpoint, basic phones are particularly appealing people with low incomesparticularly in developing countries. “A functional telephone, coupled with basic mobile services, was the reference offer enabling these users to communicate and connect. Most of these users are prevalent in Africa, parts of Asia and Latin America”explains Counterpoint.
However, feature phones do not only appeal to less fortunate consumers. The BBC article includes several testimonials from users who have chooses to give up the smartphonefull of features, to settle for a feature phone.
“I didn’t notice until I bought a ‘brick’ phone how much a smartphone was taking over my life”, explains a 17-year-old Briton, very happy with her old-fashioned flip phone. For some users, the return to a feature phone is a radical antidote to nomophobia, smartphone addiction.
“Before, I would always be glued to the phone, checking anything and everything, browsing Facebook. Now I have more time for my family and me. I have more privacy”, says a consumer who replaced his smartphone with a Nokia 3310 5 years ago. Initially, the man sought to get more autonomy by opting for a feature phone.
In terms of autonomy, basic cell phones are also much more efficient than smartphones, including high-end models like the iPhone 13 Pro Max or the Galaxy S22 Ultra.