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Only in Japan: flip phone share growing, smartphones on decline

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Only in Japan: flip phone share growing, smartphones on decline

Remember the good old days, and the reassuring click when you close your flip phone, signalling to your brain that the call has indeed ended? Or the ultimate convenience to flip it open, and have the microphone right next to your mouth, while the earpiece is sitting firmly to your ear, instead of fumbling with giant screen phone that are now increasingly hard to grasp?

Well, the Japanese do, and they seem to have a newfound love for the flip phone form factor. Well, this being Japan, the flippers are a bit richer in functionalities than those in the days past, but still it is intriguing to hear that their market share actually increased last year. Flip phone shipments were up 5.7% to 10.6 million in 2014, while smartphone ones declined 5.3% for yet another year in Japan. 

The culprit might be the country's outrageous smartphone data plan prices, which are much higher than if you are just donning a flip phone for talk, text and light web usage. We bet those good ol' flippers are a dime a dozen, too, which might have spearheaded their proliferation amongst Japan's aging population, contrary to the rest of the world.

source: Reuters

41 Comments
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posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:21 17

1. Anterv (Posts: 172; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)


Ironically, your brains get smarter without smartphone.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:26 7

2. Aploine (Posts: 426; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Economic crisis + age + tired of big phones and too much social mabe?

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:32 3

4. Kruze (Posts: 1285; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


New trend: Going back to flip phones, Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up, Going back to Playstation One, 2000 Toyota Corolla.

METRO AWAITS...MAKE BELIEVE...LIKE NO OTHERS...Welcome back to the good old days.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:33 2

6. Aploine (Posts: 426; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


We have see nothing yet

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:34 1

21. dancheung77 (Posts: 192; Member since: 28 Jan 2015)


Sony Ericsson, Sony Walkman, laser disk and power rangers

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 13:04 1

27. TechNeck (Posts: 237; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)


I blame animes for this...

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 10:28 1

16. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


And Apple phone didn't exist either. I prefer a flip phone over any smart phone. Better battery life screen doesn't crack either

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:22

20. dimas (Posts: 1896; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


It's just being practical and feature flip phones are cheaper and more convenient to use if you're only after the basic functions of a phone.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 23:03 2

37. lalalaman (Posts: 630; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)


Tbh I would love to have a flip phone,it's that if it is made like Nokia n93or something, good 3in screen with 13mp camera, with good browsing and some essential apps like WhatsApp,viber,Skype....i have no worries with keypad

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:29 7

3. Finest (Posts: 90; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)


Japanese people basically know how to live a life, than to rely their lives to a smartphone sitting all day wasting time streaming facebook instagram twitter etc etc. Im getting fat because of my smartphone back in my time kids were playing outside having fun with their activities, but nowadays kids are all at home with their ipads, phones and stuffs losing the true meaning of childhood. Im glad i lived a life before the era of smartphones and dumb people came.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:32 7

5. Aploine (Posts: 426; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Blame the parents

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:35 2

7. Anterv (Posts: 172; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)


I agree at this point. Parents are ignoring the fact that their kids are wasting time, and this is unacceptable. Looks like education for parents and kids about what is time wasting is insanely needed.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:36 4

8. PorkyBurger (Posts: 585; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Well I think kids should have some of the responsibilities on their own, not to push everything to parents and then suddenly blame them for ruining their lives. Tbh.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:40 2

11. Aploine (Posts: 426; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


And that's something parents should teach them, more with their life and less with their words

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:41 1

12. Anterv (Posts: 172; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)


That's the point - responsibilities won't fall from the sky, it comes from your parents by teaching you.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:43

14. Aploine (Posts: 426; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


I don't suggest that we have to blame our parents. Most probably they do what they can

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:37 6

10. Kruze (Posts: 1285; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


Even kids these days are addicted to smartphones, tablets and social media. Hope in the future kids won't be like this...

What is 2+2?
-Note 4.
What is 3+3?
-iPhone 6.

Knock knock...
-Who's there?
i...
-i Who?
iPad.

How do we make friends?
-Facebook.

What is the meaning of life?
-Instagram.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:54 2

22. cory944 (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)


Knock knock...
-Who is there?
LG G3

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 12:25 1

24. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3713; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


"Im getting fat because of my smartphone..."

I stopped reading there.
***NEWSFLASH***
Your smartphone isn't making you fat. Your laziness is.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 16:28

30. Mutation.X (banned) (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Feb 2015)


Bring back the sexy Ericsson T28

posted on 17 Feb 2015, 11:02

39. JohnZimmerman (Posts: 15; Member since: 17 Sep 2012)


Hahaha, they do? You should visit some day. Tokyo will change your perspective.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:36

9. theguy2345 (Posts: 1182; Member since: 24 Jun 2014)


They use other devices, such as 3DSs for smartphone type things such as web browsing and music. Odd, but true. So that could also contribute as well. Instead of paying a high price for a smartphone and data, the 3DS is only $200 equivalent, with most of the functions.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:42

13. Settings (Posts: 1467; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Japan get most of fun.
The new 3DS,not the XL for example

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 09:45

15. theguy2345 (Posts: 1182; Member since: 24 Jun 2014)


I just got the 3DS XL, and it is wonderful. I can see why people want the smaller one, but I am cool with the XL model. Also, in Nintendo's perspective, the smaller one barely sells. And it sucks you can't just import one. Stupid region locking...

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 10:46

18. EC112987 (Posts: 523; Member since: 10 Nov 2014)


You can buy the UK version which comes in English lol and just buy the games online

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 12:10

23. theguy2345 (Posts: 1182; Member since: 24 Jun 2014)


It's still much easier to go to your local store. And plus the games will be more expensive

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 20:42

34. Phooey506 (Posts: 85; Member since: 24 Sep 2014)


96 PPI on the new 3DS XL. Lol 96. Even the OGDroid and iPhone 3g had higher ppi. Most $5-25 flip phones exceed 96 PPI as well.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 10:36

17. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


I will tell you this. With the ebbing of removable batteries, my wife and I have made a deal to stop purchasing smartphones if it becomes impossible to purchase one without the option. Flip phones are in our sight. The battery lifespan is far better due to less charging. Most have removable batteries which we like in case of issues related to a failing or faulty battery. No forking over exuberant money for someone to do what we can do ourselves.

John B.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:04 2

19. HugoBarraCyanogenmod (Posts: 1005; Member since: 06 Jul 2014)


Aging population, old people prefer features phone, enough said

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 12:36

25. PorkyBurger (Posts: 585; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Idk, my mom once said that she will never use a smartphone, but now when she tried WP, she was extremely impressed with it and said that she will not go back to feature phones ever again. same went with my dad. I was shocked by results tbh. I barely got them to buy a smartphone for themselves.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 12:39

26. PorkyBurger (Posts: 585; Member since: 18 May 2013)


So I just think they prefer feature phones because most of them havent tried using smartphones. Idk though D: okay, nvm.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 14:57 1

28. KangLee (Posts: 15; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


That's not really true. Alot of aging people does prefer smartphone after they tried it due to fact that it has bigger screen and alot of them has easy home screen mode.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 14:59 1

29. KangLee (Posts: 15; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Its alot better for their aging eyes specially.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 17:37

31. Settings (Posts: 1467; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Battery life is the feature smartphones cant beat out of basic phones.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 19:22

32. ericstealth (Posts: 7; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


Drug dealers love flip phones. No GPS to track them.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 20:00

33. SuperNova (banned) (Posts: 649; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


This is because Japanese people are so weird. im not racist here. But most of the adults don't get married. Maybe because they watch too much porn... Shame.

posted on 17 Feb 2015, 05:01

38. romeo1 (Posts: 705; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


What's weird about not getting getting married?
If it's not necessary in your religion there is no need. If you're not religious getting married is for saying/showing/fun. there are only disadvantages.(at least here)
But i agree they are different than western people. imo at some things better and some things less

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 21:38

35. iphoneman37 (Posts: 42; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


My father in law finally got a cell phone it's a flip phone we tried teaching him about smart phones but he don't won't to pay data charges or have Internet at his house he is too old fashioned.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 21:52

36. GeekMovement (Posts: 2140; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


I did miss flip phones as well, but now I'm spoiled with the convenience of a larger display and touch screen keyboard (swiftkey). I find it interesting that the flip phone market share went up and more so, smartphone down.

posted on 17 Feb 2015, 18:17

40. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1589; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


A lot of posts bashing parents because their kids are "addicted" to smartphones. It's these very people who are responsible. Back some 10+ years ago, only guys like myself were using Treos and BlackBerrys. Not because we were geeks, but because our jobs evolved to the point of constant emails and other electronic leashes. Those of us with kids in their 20s and early 30s are the ones the kids saw when they were teenagers and thought it was cool. Now these same teenagers are the ones having kids now and suddenly "their kids are spoiled".

We did it for work. To put food on the table and buy you your stupid Nintendos and Ataris. We didn't do Facebook or any of that nonsense. The apps we drooled over were expense trackers and fax apps. Don't blame my generation for spoiled brat kids, blame yourselves.

posted on 07 Dec 2015, 12:14

41. anill (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


hi..i have found a website where we can learn japanese via skype easily.its very helpful.
you can try this.

url: preply.com/en/japanese-by-skype

thank you

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