All Americans haven't warmed up to using smartphones. New data just released indicates that sales of flip phones and other "dumb" phones like candy bar phones rose in 2015 from those of the prior year by two million, to a total of 24.2 million.
We certainly live in an age of technology, and the latest and greatest smartphones continue to be released on a regular basis with faster processors, better cameras and other new features that make them not just phones, but powerful mini-computers that we utilize in all facets of our lives.
However, some Americans still haven't warmed up to the idea of carrying a computer in their pocket. They want a phone, and just a phone, and are willing to give up many of the features and possibilities that many smartphone owners can't live without for the simplicity and convenience that flip, candy bar and other so-called "feature phones" provide.
While the older demographic that may not be as tech-savvy as younger generations certainly comprises a large part of the feature phone market, there are others for whom the use of a feature phone is more of a lifestyle choice. Those users prefer not to be eternally on the grid, reachable at any given moment not only by phone but also via email, Skype and the bevy of other methods that we use in modern days to communicate on our devices. Adele famously utilized a flip phone in her recent "Hello" video, and Rihanna and Anna Wintour, two of our generation's most style-savvy trendsetters, have both been pictured rocking the throwback devices.
That could be the reason why use of the feature phone has jumped by a healthy two million units last year to a total of over 24 million. Some feature phone users prefer the small size of the device relative to bulky smartphones and also enjoy the angular build that conforms more naturally to the mouth and ear when using the device for what they consider to be its primary function — speaking on the phone. Others love the long battery life of the feature phones, which can literally go for weeks of use on a single charge.
When it goes beyond basic phone conversations, however, most modern feature phones fall short. Texting, of course is an exercise in frustration, and even flip phones containing basic browsers run primarily on laggy 3G networks. However, that's just fine with many of the users of these phones, who prefer to remain available when needed, but not inextricably connected full-time.