Dumbphone revival | A question of QoL?


Besides calling the analysts’ interest dumbphone revival is naturally knocking at the phone manufacturer’s door as well. Feature phone return also may be, and certainly is, looked upon with growing interest from the manufacturing opportunity side for it reopens a business sector gradually reduced to its minimal expression since smartphone launch.

The message its growing preference among the public is sending all over the phone market invites the involved enterprises to replan investments in order to supply the emerging demand. In eastern markets, traditionally most populous ones in which affordability keeps on being more decisive a purchasing factor, featurephone sales rise should be expected to represent a long-term safer initiative. On the contrary, in Europe as well as in the USA the commercial reintroduction could be not so profitable lasting since here and there the market on the rise move seems to be based more on a nostalgic or fashionable trend.



Under the social analysis light, however, the present phenomenon goes far beyond the affordability context. It’s rather considered as an increasing customer reaction, which although presently moderate could reach massive proportions. That’s what may be indicating the fact that each day more occidental smartphone users are realizing their quality of life could be improved by switching to a less featured phone.

This assertion however seems to contradict the event’s unlimited character for there’s no reason why the same general reaction shouldn’t take place in eastern markets as well. This returns us to the event’s global nature consideration. It also reminds us we have to find a suitable answer to the serious competence dumbphone is presently posing against smartphone devices.

Otherwise the matter’s true nature would be distortioned by ceasing to be looked upon its two-way characteristic manifestations.



Firstly, dumbphone sales are not for the third year in a row getting their global rise leaving smartphone’s commercial performance unaffected. It certainly might have happened this way, though. For instance, if only some particular consumer sectors, e.g. the senior’s one, had been fuelling the three year’s 90% rise. The launch of a particular successfull feature-phone model, innovative and specially adapted for them, could have caused it.

A hybrid kind of cell phone helping the older with the wide technological gap, they find so difficult to overcome, would have certainly contributed to the market shake-up, promoting big sales rises at the same time. But would such hybrid device have been called a dumbphone?

Back to reality, global surveys show a general public’s transversal trend away from ultimate technology devices and towards more primitive ones.



Secondly, the observed dumbphone increasing sales phenomenon is referred to as a global kind of. It’s restricted to no particular marketing environment as it might have been naturally expected. Neither those belonging to developing countries (according to GNP level) nor to those having more precarious educational rates.

The local extension covered by communication infrastructures which assures continuous, more stable and faster internet connections, seems to be not a decisive factor either. Countries being far ahead of the rest in the implementation of 5G networks (with all the digital advances herein implied) have also seen dumbphones selling better year after year since 2018.



For such reasons, and a good deal more altogether, explanations to the somewhat mysterious event ought to be looked for in other ambits. Public reaction before social media expansion, and influence over people’s habits, should not be excluded from the investigation.

Customer’s answers are not always as plain and predictable as giving way to the acquisition of ever more featured handsets.

The reason of this or that purchase option could sometimes be found out in areas more directly connected with customer’s quality of life.


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