This article explains why simple “old-school” phones, intended for calls and text messages and that have a long battery life, win over smartphones in emerging markets.

Smartphones Have an Unexpected New Rival

“[…]smartphones of all kinds are facing stiff competition from an unlikely new challenger: feature phones. With simple handsets and small screens intended mostly for calls and text messages — similar to the Nokia or Motorola you probably owned years ago — a new generation of feature phones is suddenly looking like a threat to Apple and its rivals.

For a technology long ago left for dead, feature phones have lately made some impressive gains. After years of almost continuous decline, global shipments have grown for two consecutive quarters. Growth in emerging markets has been especially impressive: In Africa, feature-phone shipments surged 32 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2016, compared to a decline of 5.2 percent for smartphones. Expect that trend to continue, for a few reasons.”


Read the full article written by Adam Minter on Bloomberg’s website