There’s no need to go phone-free to experience a digital detox: Dumbphones are on the rise.
These are a big step up from your old Nokia, but are people really willing to pay for a phone with fewer features?
The just-launched $350 Light Phone 2 makes calls, sends texts … and that’s about it. That’s also the point.
The original Light Phone was designed to let people leave the house without the burden of always-on email and apps. But with a phonebook limited to nine numbers, it wasn’t meant to replace smartphones. It was a means to unplug without going off the grid.
Demand was huge. Launched on Kickstarter in June 2015, it raised $400k and sold 15k units before orders stopped. Then, Light Phones went for triple the original price on the secondary market.
The Steph Curry-sponsored Palm — not the ’90s tech company, but a new startup using the same name — sees itself as a smartphone complement. Other minimalist-feature phones include the Internet-free Punkt and the Android-supported Blloc.
With many people worried about screen addiction — research shows the mere sight of a smartphone lying facedown makes us feel anxious — many consumers may believe a dumber phone is a smart idea.
After all, who among us hasn’t been guilty of mindless scrolling?