The Flip-Phone: Trend, Friend, or Foe?

Smartphone counterpart, the flip-phone, had increased shipment figures in Japan in 2014. The feature phone is back in the spotlight in the East. A strange trend in an otherwise smartphone orientated world.


samsungThe Japanese market figures showed that flip-phone shipments rose with 5% to 10.58 million units, whereas smartphone shipments declined by 5% to 27.70 million units according to Reuters in 2014. Flip-phones aptly nick-named “Galapagos”, as they have evolved to meet unique Japanese tastes are still going strong on the Japanese market. According to, Japan is more resistant to smartphone substitution than western countries. The most likely reason for this is that Japan’s smartphone costs are among the highest in developed countries and their flip-phones are among the cheapest.


Panasonic and NEC Will Make Flip-phones Instead of Smartphones for the Japanese Market

The trend begs the question, are we going backwards? The push for flip-phones in Japan has even dealt a blow to larger companies such as Panasonic Corp and NEC Group. Both companies have announced that they are pulling out of the smartphone race to pursue making flip-phones instead. They admitted to being beaten in the market by smartphone manufacturers Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. This should lead to even more competitive pricing when it comes to new feature phones such as Fujitsu’s F-07F flip-phone. A backwards trend is unlikely and we might even see bigger phone companies adopting the trend, producing new ranges of smart flip-phones.


The African continent has always been influenced by Japanese trading to some extent. According to an article by Consultancy Africa Intelligence, Japan has expanded their relationship with Africa from an “aid” point of view to an “investment” type relationship. The reason for this change was made due to Japan’s own power crisis with the shutdown of some of their nuclear plants according to WSJ in recent years.


Trends by themselves are inherent to the old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” . Trends, like the upswing of the flip-phone, are unexpected and keep the mobile deities from growing too complacent with current markets.


As for Japan, it would seem that the Titan Gods namely flip-phones are back, pushing aside their newer Olympian counterparts for a chance to rule Mount Olympus yet again.


Related Articles:

The Nokia N1: Another First-World Device

iMac 5k Display : Has Apple’s vision become blurred?

Micromax Becomes the Leading Supplier of Smartphones in India

Data Efficient Facebook Lite Launches in South Africa

Author Profile

Kobus Heinemann
Kobus Heinemann
I was caught up in the technology storm from a very young age. Being a child of Generation X, playing computer games and always building “the next great computer rig” is my passion. I'm mesmerised with any and all techy wonders crossing my path.