This is a surprising number. For several years, sales of basic phones, also called Feature Phones, have been increasing while at the same time smartphone shipments have continued to decline. Is this a nostalgic fad or the symptom of a deeper phenomenon? This is what we are going to try to explain to you today..
What is a feature phone
Do not look in your memory, this name may not mean anything to you. And yet there's a good chance that you already have one of these devices. But yes, remember your old laptop. At the time, he didn't know how to surf the internet, send emails, take photos, let alone watch videos.
These devices from another time now bear the name of feature phone or basic phone. And contrary to what one might think, these mobiles straight out of the early 2000s still exist. Nokia, LG or Thomson continue to produce them. They now have a minimalist photo sensor and an internet connection..
But compared to a smartphone, these offer very limited functionalities. No 5G, no video games, no streaming or social media. Feature phones are mainly used to make phone calls or send text messages.
It is also for this reason that in the United States they are called Dump Phone (stupid phone) in opposition to smartphones (smart phone). The word has also passed into everyday language across the Atlantic..
The comeback of basic phones
We live in an era fascinated by the past and objects of yesteryear. This vintage phenomenon affects all areas including high-tech. The Nokia 3310, Motorola Startac and flip phones are making a comeback.
Sales of these devices have been increasing for several years. According to a study conducted by Deloitte and published by the BBC, nearly one in ten Britons would use a basic telephone in the United Kingdom.
Obviously the world of feature phones remains a niche market in Europe and the United States. The bulk of sales are made in India or Africa. In these areas, the population is sorely lacking in electricity. The weakness of the infrastructure causes very many power cuts. No wonder then that the battery life remains a very important purchase criterion for the inhabitants of these countries.
And on this point, basic phones are unbeatable. Depending on your uses and the model used, the autonomy can reach several weeks or even a full month. You can imagine that with such performance, the latest generation smartphones (very energy-consuming) cannot compete.
If the dump phone is enjoying some success in the West, it is because this device meets the expectations of part of the clientele, namely to spend less time in front of their telephone. And for this task they are perfect.
With their small screen and minimalist interface, they cannot access application stores. Impossible for example to download TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook or any other social network on his phone.
As a result, you spend less time in front of your screen and you regain control of your life. You can still receive important calls, but no more notification stress.