Smartphones generally get all the tech press attention, but this week dumbphones and their loyal owners have popped up in two trend stories. Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal point out the loyal— and ever-shrinking—demographic of Americans resisting conversion to the smartphone cult. Back when the iPhone 4S came out, we discussed those very people, noting the reasons these Luddites have failed to get with the times. Six months later those folks are still kicking it with their dumbphones, as proud as ever.
These articles point to all the familiar and very legitimate explanations for why some choose a dumbphone over more technologically advanced options:
- Fear of addiction. “I don’t want to end up falling victim to the smartphone, where I dive in and get lost for hours at a time,” dumbphone owner 24-year-old Jim Harig, 24 told The Times' Teddy Wayne.
- The benefits of disconnectivity. "I also fear my own susceptibility to an e-mail-checking addiction," writes Wayne. "The pressure to always be in communication with people is overwhelming," Erica Koltenuk tells the Journal's Sue Shellenbarger.
- Cost. "These die-hards say they are reducing waste and like sidestepping costly service contracts," writes Shellenbarger.
- Durability. "I want a phone that you could drop-kick into a lake and go get it and still be able to make a call," says Patrick Crowley, who bought a new phone 5 years ago.
- Anti-consumerism. "[David] Blumenthal sees no need to 'keep running out and buying new things if you can patch them and they hold together,'" explains the Journal.