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Sunday, November 16, 2014


You would not think that we were yet in a position to revert to old versions of the mobile phone but apparently this is very much the latest trend.

The Independent reports that the flip phone is making a comeback for mostly practical reasons:

The trend appears to have originated in the handbag of Anna Wintour, who earlier this year was spotted peering at the screen of a flip-phone she had first acquired in approximately 2004 – before she switched to a BlackBerry and, later, an iPhone.

Wintour-watchers interpreted her reversion to pre-smartphone technology as a style statement, but the Vogue editor, who is 65, is far from alone among her age group. Iggy Pop, 67, recently told The Cut website that he owns a flip-phone, "because you can drop it a lot and it won't break, and when you want to text it still has three letters to each button".

Meanwhile, in Korea, both Samsung and LG have launched brand new flip-smartphones aimed at the elderly. LG says it designed its Wine Smart handset after a round of market research found that many older consumers were intimidated by the small buttons and complicated features of many modern touch-screen smartphones.

Yet it isn't just the older generation that's turning back the technological clock. Rihanna may be rare among millennial celebrities, for whom Twitter and Instagram connectivity is mostly a must, but a recent study by the US think-tank Pew found that as many as 15 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 13 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds in America don't use a smartphone.

Some surely prefer the tactile "fwap" of an unfolding clamshell to the digital click of an Apple device, while others can't afford the upgrade. But for those who can, argued writer Chiara Atik in a recent essay for online science magazine Matter, "A flip phone represents the ultimate luxury: inaccessibility."

There is nothing new under the sun it seems.
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