Depending on extent of functionality, feature phones may have many of the capabilities of a smartphone, within certain cases. In developed economies, feature phones are primarily specific to niche markets , or have become merely a preference—owing to certain feature combinations not available in other devices, such as affordability, durability, simplicity,  and extended battery life per one charge viz standby and talk times.
In emerging markets, a feature phone remains the primary means of communication for many.
A well-designed feature phone can be used in industrial environments and the outdoors, at workplaces that proscribe dedicated cameras, and as an emergency telephone. Several models are equipped with hardware functions — such as FM radio and flashlight — that prevent the device from becoming useless in the event of a major disaster, or entirely obsolete, if and when 2G network infrastructure is shut down.
Other feature phones are specifically designed for the elderly, and yet others for religious purposes. From the point of view of markets and consumers, there are several situations for which feature phones are beneficial:. The first cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC released in , is considered a basic mobile phone due to its inability to do anything more than making voice calls. Despite the introduction of smartphones in the mids, ignited with the August release of the IBM Simon , Nokia Communicator from on, and the BlackBerry line of handheld personal digital assistants from Research in Motion , feature phones enjoyed unchallenged popularity into the mid s.
In North America, smartphones, such as Palm and BlackBerry, were still considered a niche category for enterprise use. Outside North America, Nokia's Symbian devices had captured the smartphone market, in which price was the only barrier to entry, and Nokia offered smartphones across all feasible price segments. In the mids, phone makers such as Nokia and Motorola enjoyed record sales of feature phones. In developed economies, fashion and brand drove sales, as markets had matured and people moved to their second and third phones.
In the U. However, consumer-oriented smartphones such as the iPhone and those running Android fundamentally changed the market, with Steve Jobs proclaiming in that "the phone was not just a communication tool but a way of life ". Existing feature phone operating systems at the time, such as Symbian , were not designed to handle additional tasks beyond communication and basic functions, and due to the complex bureaucracy and other factors, they never developed a thriving software ecosystem.
There has been an industry shift from feature phones including low-end smartphones , which rely mainly on volume sales, to high-end flagship smartphones which also enjoy higher margins, thus manufacturers find high-end smartphones much more lucrative than feature phones. The shift away from feature phones has forced wireless carriers to increase subsidies of handsets, and the high selling-prices of flagship smartphones have had a negative effect on the wireless carriers, who have seen their EBITDA margins drop as they sold more smartphones and fewer feature phones.
To help make up for this, carriers typically use high-end devices to upsell customers onto higher-priced service plans with increased data allotments. During the mids, best-selling feature phones such as the fashionable flip-phone Motorola Razr , multimedia Sony Ericsson Wi , and the LG Black Label Series not only occupied the mid-range pricing in a wireless provider's lineup, they made up the bulk of retail sales as smartphones from BlackBerry and Palm were still considered a niche category for business use. Even as late as , smartphone penetration in North America was low.
In , feature phones accounted for 60 percent of the mobile telephones in the United States  and 70 percent of mobile phones sold worldwide. A survey of 4, Canadians by Media Technology Monitor in fall suggested about 83 percent of the anglophone population owned a cellphone, up from 80 percent in and 74 percent in About two thirds of the mobile phone owners polled said they had a smartphone and the other third had feature phones or non-smartphones.
According to MTM, non-smartphone users are more likely to be female, older, have a lower income, live in a small community and have less education.
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The survey found that smartphone owners tend to be male, younger, live in a high-income household with children in the home, and residents of a community of one million or more people. Students also ranked high among smartphone owners. Mobile phones in Japan diverged from those used elsewhere, with carriers and devices often implementing advanced features such as NTT docomo 's i-mode platform for mobile internet in , mobile payments , mobile television , and near field communications that were not yet widely-used, or even adopted, outside of Japan.
While smartphones have gained popularity and implement features introduced on them , many gala-phones are still commonly used, citing preferences for the devices and their durability over smartphones. Mobile games oriented towards smartphones have seen significant growth and revenue in Japan, even though there were three times fewer smartphone users in the country than in the United States as of Several distinct operating systems have been developed which can run on a feature phone. These operating systems are designed to be lightweight to increase the feature phone battery life, work well with a small screen which does not have touch features, and also work well with a small hardware keyboard such as T9 keyboard commonly found on feature phones.
Nokia has developed the Series 30 and Series 40 software platform and application user interfaces which run the Nokia Asha platform.
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Smarterphone has developed Smarterphone OS , a full operating system designed for feature phones. The first release was in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. February Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Phone Scoop. Retrieved 15 December Wall Street Journal. I don't think Noah Driver is 'forcing his opinion on you' you know I believe it is technologically possible for you to avoid reading his opinions if you wish? As for comparing his article about this subject to religious indoctrination - well, I shake my head. It's just NOT that serious!! I can only conclude from the offence you take, that you have shares and a vested interest in 'Apple' or 'Samsung'? If not, I'd advise you download a 'lighten-up app' I assume there is now one of those available for smartphones?
B the way, like you, I also have a watch. It tells me the time : Alun.
I'm also switching back to a dumb phone as well. I have one laying in a drawer, but doesn't have battery n might get a new charger. I think smartphones are a scam, they are easy to break n has a short battery life. Dumb phones win! I don't freakin need a smartphone, I have a tablet and a computer so that's enough. I was given an iPhone 4s and while it's nice with its camera, some apps and music capability, I haven't activated it yet as a phone and am still using my dumb phone. I just don't see any reason for having a smart phone when I get by fine with my dumb phone and my laptop.
Thank you for your article; it reinforces my decision and makes me feel good about it. A powerful share, I just given this onto a cllueagoe who was doing just a little evaluation on this. And he in actual fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If potential, as you turn into experience, would you mind updating your weblog with extra details? It's extremely helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
I was searching the net for reasons to get a smartphone, thinking there must be something that I had been missing. And what do I find A reason to stay dumb, perhaps with a more-up-to date model. Camera - thank I already got one with a lot more features than any smartphone can offer. Maybe a short history lesson in on order.
No, not the electric type-writer, the mechanical kind. The one where, when you hit a key a little hammer flew up and hit a carbon tape which in turn left an imprint of the character on the paper behind. One problem with this was that because of limited space, the returning hammer could collide with the next one flying out and cause a key jam.
So the inventor of the layout analysed the frequency of each letter in the English language and also took note of standard character sequences. Apart from the key jam problem which went away with the invention of the golf ball design the layout also took care of distributing the work evenly between the two hands and assign the most frequent letters to the stronger fingers index and middle and the least frequent letters to the little finger.
Believe it or not, there are still some people who can type using their ten fingers without looking at the keyboard. The question is why are phone users expected to use layout that makes no longer any sense in the context. Too lazy to think of a better way, I ask. Or are they afraid that Apple is going to sue them for copyright infringement. I recently bought a new TV set that wants to be called a smart TV.
There are some functions where you can enter a search criteria or specify the name of the file you want it to play. To do this you click on the letters, one by one, with your remote control - on a QWERTY keyboard displayed on the screen!!! The mind boggles. Nice to read this article as one who has never - and possibly will never - have a smart phone! Being a bit of a technophobe, I'd struggle to get to grips with one even if I had one, but that's not just me - most people only use a fraction of the facilities available, and it seems almost every day a friend of mine has a problem losing some function or other because of something they've done wrong.
And yet they become slaves to their phone. It seems they cannot exist if they don't have their phone with them to stay in constant contact with the world. My biggest personal issue though, is the Internet. There's just no way I want to spend my life looking at a screen not much bigger than a postage stamp. Isn't a big laptop screen literally a thousand times more comfortable to look at and read off?
Anyway, I'm going to stick to my basic phone which allows me to send texts and make phone calls - that, after all, is what a phone is supposed to be designed for.
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And at least I'm unlikely to get mugged for it!!! Voted up. Great Hub. Well written, relevant and interesting. I'm considering trading my iPhone 4s for a dumb phone. Can't justify the cost anymore. I have desk tops and laptops at home.. I love this hub and I loved my simple dumb cell phone until they made me upgrade to a smartphone touch screen.
I've hated it ever since and it's been a year. I only need it to make calls and check voicemail. I may "downgrade" soon though! Interesting article. It sure is annoying having to watch everyone else use them when you don't have one. I think they must be very addictive, and who knows, maybe more harmful than cigarettes. I was thinking of getting one, but for now you have convinced me I can live without one.
It is a good idea to bring along a book or kindle if you don't have a smart phone. When you find yourself in the company of an addictive smartphone user, reading will stop you from getting bored and jealous! Nice blog. I think dumb phones lead to smart savings. That's why I have one despite the peer pressure to join the elite, albeit broke smart phone users Unless the company is paying for it dumb phone equals increased savings I completely agree with you. The smart ones require so much attention to operate.
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You stop living and interacting with real people. Just give me a good old-fashioned flip phone with basic functioning a camera would be nice, though. Unfortunately, when I went to shop for a "dumb" phone I could not find one. Love the coolness factor of dumb phones.
Just discovered mobile prepaid hot spots. I don't need cell reception, so why would I want a smart phone. My hotspot doesn't try to hook me up to a Canadian provider when I am across the river in Michigan, my cell phone had me roaming in Canada when they wouldn't let me go over there since I didn't have my passport. They still charged me. I have a basic phone, and have always had one. I did recently switch to one that had a small data plan, but it works just fine for my needs. I would rather only pay for the features that are important to me. It is sad to watch people staring at their devices instead of paying attention to the people around them.
Although my year old son has a smart phone and continually uses up the data plan allotment! I wouldnt' even know how to use a smart phone. It's bad enough people can't go anywhere without a cell phone. I'll keep my internet connection on my desktop and laptop, thank you very much. As for my phone, it's for making calls and texting when necessary.
We did just fine decades ago without being 'connected'. I think a lot of our problems today come about because we're too connected! How 'bout 'connecting' in person?