How Many Of Your Friends Still Use Dumbphones?

I was in the airport last week surrounded by grumpy delayed travellers, one of whom was brandishing his feature phone with pride. "I just want my phone to be a phone," he tried to tell a fellow grumpster. I shook my head in dispair.

You'd think in today's iPhone and Android-saturated world guys like that would be outliers. But US telco AT&T reported this week — along with strong financial earnings — that just 62 per cent of its wireless subscribers were on smartphones. That's up from last year, but still means that tens of millions of people still haven't made the jump. My question is: who are they? And do they need our help? [AT&T]


Comments

    I still use a 'Dumbphone'. I already have an iPod touch and 3G android tablet so I really don't see the need, and my battery will last for days..

      Fair enough. I'm the opposite - Live through my smartphone when i'm out & about, but still use a 3rd Gen iPod Nano, and am going to get the iPod classic this year.. I just want my music player to play music :P

      Each to his/her own I guess.

      Personally, I don't want to carry N devices when one does all of those jobs reasonably well. The battery is a non-issue, the simple habit of putting the phone in its dock every night is automatic for me these days.

      I do carry my iPad on occasion, if I want to read or study, for the larger screen, other than that, the iPhone is all i need.

        I originally agreed but having my phone die before I got home started to happen all too often. Bought a Nano over Christmas, Helps with battery life and is small enough to not be inconvenient to carry at all times

    In the past, my Grandmother was always bought 'Dumbphones for Seniors'. She hated them, and they always lived in the draw without charge. I bought her a iPhone, and she never leaves it behind. Some people don't realise what they're missing out on, and don't realise that some 'dumbphones' are quite complex to use, because of the reduced-quantity variable-function buttons. Telling someone to 'press the button on the screen' for exactly what you want to do is easier to understand 'press this button' to do this on this screen, and something else on this screen, and press and hold it to do this, and....

      Same experience with my father. 64 years old and got an Iphone 4 and I can't pry the thing out of his hand. Once he discovered the functionality of a smart phone he was hooked.

      My Dad was the same: never taking full advantage of the capability of his featurephones because it was just too hard. He got an iPhone recently, and is really happy with it even though he doesn't do much on it that his old Nokia couldn't do 5 years ago. It's just that it's a heck of a lot more friendly and things on the screen look like their real-world analogue.

      Credit where it's due, iPhone is an absolutely fantastic "my first smartphone". Making a technically superb and sophisticated device accessible to tech luddites is an achievement and a half, and their bottom line is definitely reward enough!

        Those who understand or enjoy technology for its own sake are an incredibly small minority. An iPhone is a 'my first smartphone' in the same way that a new Toyota Camry is a 'my first car' - I'm not going to get a 'second car' thats more complex so I can adjust the variable valve timing - its a means to end and thats what technology is to 99% of people :)

          Your analogy is all wrong. Your first car will more than likely be simple, no power windows, no cruise control (think 90s Corolla) and no button to turn off the traction control when you don't need it ;)

            and you are one of a very very small minority of people that own a car that knows what traction control does let alone want to ever turn it off ;)

    Of course they don't need our help. They're fine.

    These people dont exist - the numbers will be SIMS tucked away in peoples drawers that are not used - ie pre-pay etc.

    It always made me smile when there are a reported 80 million mobile users in the UK with only 62 million pop (or thereabouts)

      It could just be that there are 18 million business phones out there, I know a lot of people with a work phone and a "home" mobile

    I use a dumbphone. I've tried a couple of smartphones (both Android) and broken them both through pure clumsiness. Thought I'd learnt the lesson the first time and bought a case for the second, only to drop it in a foot spa.

    Now I've decided I'm happy to have a phone that's only a phone. I can throw it around, seemingly never have to charge it and it's smaller than any smartphone. Thinking of getting the Nexus tablet for some mobile computing though.

    I use a dumbphone these days, as my previous smartphone didn't have the necessary hardware to pick up the 850mhz frequencies supplied here. Truthfully, that's the only reason.

    On the flipside however, I've found it relieving not being permanently connected, if you will. I've noticed I no longer need to check my phone for updates/notifications etc., and of course the battery life is a huge plus.
    I will get another smartphone eventually, though I don't see that day coming for a couple of years yet.

      ...buuu....but the 850mhz is for 3G? and 3G is only really useful for faster data? so your dumb phone can get on the 3G network, when all it needs to be on is 2G? What am I missing here?

        The relief about not being permanently connected and battery life points I understand, though (although what does battery life matter if you don't want to always be connected?)

          850mhz is the only band supported where I live, with Telstra being the only provider. My previous phone was an SGS, supplied by Optus.

          As for the battery life, it simply means I can forget about charging it for 4-5 days and not have to worry *should* someone wish to contact me.

    I have the knack of losing my mobile about every two years.
    So, the cheapest dump mobile is the way to go for people like me.

      Whaa?
      Mobile contracts also have a habit of finishing every two years so that lines up perfectly for you

    I reckon there's a lot of work provided phones in that number, for the people who aren't important enough for blackberrys/smartphones. These phones are generally diverted to a landline almost exclusively!

    I have a few mates running on dumb phones for various reasons, bad smartphone encounters, loses their phone when drunk... you cant go wrong with a cheap dumb phone.

    I probably would have done the same this time around but I am more fortunate to have work supplying me with a phone so of course i opted for the more expensive smart phone

    I took an old dumbphone (Sony Ericsson W300i, for those playing at home) with me on an overseas holiday recently, and actually found myself feeling an inordinate amount of affection towards the thing. Sure, the FastPort connector is (and always was) a massive pain (not to mention prone to corrosion and thus temperamental connections) but the battery on the damn thing lasted A WEEK. Also, QuadraPop!

    Plus, I found being 'disconnected' quite refreshing, and I felt like I was actually 'experiencing' my holiday more than some friends who'd brought their smartphones along and couldn't bear to fall behind in their Draw Something tournaments.

    I still use a Nokia dumbphone. Calls and text are all I need and the charge lasts almost a week so I'm happy with it.

    I've intentionally stayed away from smartphones because I'm on the net a lot for work and play, so when I go out I take the opportunity to 'disconnect'.

    Still have my Nokia dumbphone with 0.3 megapixel camera and 2 cracks on the screens casing. I refuse to swap over to limited battery life smartphones.

    I want to use my phone till it doesn't function anymore basically because phones are so disposable today that its easy to imagine a pile of unwanted phones piled sky high at the garbage tip because people need to update them every 2 years! Such a waste!...also my phone makes phone calls...its amazing! :)

    currently using a huawei dumbphone now. the GSII is having the LCD replaced and right now it's driving my up the wall. need.... smart phone.... NOW

    I've got an iPhone4 right now but now that I have an iPad there's a good chance my next phone could be a dumbphone.

    Dumbphone. I'm a cheapass and don't want to pay more than twenty bucks a month on credit, and about all I can get for that is Telstra 1c text, so as a result I never call anyone. Ever. Aside from using the house landline. I can't justify getting a smartphone just to send texts. If I need internet, I use my computer.

    Isn't calling it a 'Dumbphone' like a student calling his teacher an idiot? (yes i know, most students may call their teachers stupid, try and imagine the one who did learn something)

    I've been thinking about going back to a NORMAL phone just to be different.

    Have you traveled much Brian? Look outside of the western world and you would notice that a lot of other people don't have or need a smart phone.

    Friend of mine works in a phone store. They sell dumbphones constantly, especially to construction workers that treat them as disposable.

    A big part of this is the cost of owning a smart phone in the US. It is one of the view things that isn't more reasonably priced in the US. For example, if you want to go pre-paid in the us with an iPhone you don't have many choices, and you are hard pressed to get much data.

    For students without much money, so called "dumbphones" are excellent. I have a Nokia modern brick as I call it and it's perfect, set me back $80 and I have had it for 2 years without a problem. It does everything I want including facebook and twitter so that's a bonus. I have an iPod touch and a laptop for my music so I have everything I need

      I lost my HTC Desire HD about 3weeks after I signed up for a 24month contract and I was unwilling to fork out hundreds to replace it. I bought a Nokia brick with all the basic bells and whistles cheap like you have mentioned and it serves me faithfully to this day. My contract is up for renewal in a matter of weeks and now I'm not sure if I really need all the functions.. I laugh when I see everyone at a bar/club on facebook glued to their phones, while I can go on FB too, the limitations of the Nokia software has been a blessing.

      Sure my mates give me grief over it but it has outlasted everyone of their iphones. Couldn't count how many times i've dropped this thing and still works a treat, iphones-one drop one screen replacement. Bricks FTW

        I have a O2 atom smartphone from 2005 that still works, but in the last 6 months I upgraded to the xperia play. but the o2 atom still works, just need to replace the battery

    how does anyone live without whatsapp? its saves me a ton of money and has group chat! chew on tht dumb phones

    I wish I could get a weeks battery out of my smartphone like I could out of my dumb phone 5 years ago.

    A Nokia isn't a dumbphone, its a nuclear weapon disguised as dumbphone.

    Well I have both an iPhone 4S and a Galaxy s3 any the only thing I use them for is porn, So if someone gave me a Nokia 3310 the only thing I would be missing out on is finishing faster in bed. truth.

    My dad still uses the same Nokia pictured. He doesnt want a fancy phone. He doesn't even save phone numbers, instead carrying his little phone book around. Besides, he's in East Africa...safer to carry a dumb phone unless you want to get robbed.

    3 of my friends still have dumb phones

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