Sale of smartphones has been superseded by its predecessor, the dumb phones for the first time in years. And the reversal of sorts in smartphone’s fortunes can well be attributed to a general dislike that people seem to have been developing for social media sites and the constant notifications those generate.
To present the above trend in hardcore numbers, the sale of smartphones has seen a rise of just 2 percent all over the world last year. The same figure for the so-called dumb phones for the same period and geographic scale stands at 5 percent. The dumb phones, a rather sarcastic term to denote the feature phones of yore are excellent at what phones are meant to be in the first place, to send and receive phone calls.
With the basic necessity satisfied, users seem to have no qualms about continuing with the same as the feature phones provide an excellent cover from the social media sites. That again is because the social sites thrive on the basic tenet of being a place where things are always happening. And anyone not logging into it has the impression of missing out on something.
That should also explain the usual tendency among smartphone users to check with the social site every once in a while. In fact, the average frequency among smartphone users to check social notifications has been found to be once every 12 minutes. This can also be considered an addiction of sorts with the users becoming habituated to check out with the devices even in the absence of any notification.
Another inherent benefit of dumb phones is the superb battery life those comes with, which can easily last several days depending on the usage. In contrast, smartphones have just started to grow out of the usual full-day usage cycle those devices conform to before requiring a battery top-up.
Switching over to the dumb phones is also being seen as a nice break from the smart connected world that seems to have become too saturated off late. With every other company vying for user’s attention via notifications, those seem to have out-grown the human’s ability to ingest the same. No wonder, people are opting for something that’s a bit simpler, yet effective.
That is how feature phones have come back into the picture though it could be too early to predict its end of days for smartphones. Rather, the above trend can be seen as the beginning of a change that likely will become the new norm – that of users having to deal with less of app noise. In fact, both iOS and Android too have begun to introduce measures to allow users control their exposure to social sites or notifications from every other site.