The return of ‘non-smartphones’.
Seventeen-year-old Robin West is an “anomaly” among her society – she doesn’t have a smartphone.
Instead of staying all day on apps like TikTok and Instagram, she uses the so-called “non-smartphone.”
These are simple phones with limited functions compared to the iPhone for example. You can usually make or receive calls and messages. And if you’re lucky, you can even listen to the radio and take simple pictures, but you can’t connect to the Internet or apps.
These devices are similar to some of the first cell phones that people bought in the late 90s.
West’s decision to throw away her former smartphone two years ago was simply spur of the moment. But when she goes to a second-hand store to buy another phone, she is lured by the low price of the “brick phone”.
Her current cell phone, from the French company MobiWire, cost her almost only 10 euros. And since it’s not a smartphone, she doesn’t have to worry about expensive internet bills.
“I had no idea how much control a smartphone had taken over my life until I bought the ‘brick phone’.” “I had a lot of social networking apps on that phone, and I couldn’t get much work done because I was using it all the time,” she continued.
The Londoner adds that she doesn’t think she’ll buy another smartphone. “I’m happy with my ‘brick’ – I don’t think it limits me to anything.” However, I am more active”, she announced.
“Non-smart phones” are continuing to enjoy a resurgence. Google searches for these phones saw an 89 percent increase between 2018 and 2021, according to a report from software firm SEMrush.
And while sales numbers are hard to come by, one report says that last year alone these phones sold nearly 1 billion units, a difference of 400 million sales compared to 2019. That’s for comparison. with worldwide sales of 1.4 billion smartphones, after a 12.5 percent decrease from 2020.