CALIFORNIA: If you think this is the era of smartphones, and everyone wants to buy latest models of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy, so you are wrong as flip mobiles are back and becoming popular among showbiz, business and political celebrities and personalities.
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, was spotted with a flip phone during this summer’s US Open, as was Rihanna in recent months.
Iggy Pop has gone on record as saying he owns a flip phone. And it’s not just that people are rooting around in chest of drawers and pulling out old models – we all have backup phones after all – but current flip phones are still available to purchase, and new ones are even in production.
It might seem strange that anyone would want to trade in a smartphone for a standard feature phone, but I can understand the appeal of clamshell phones.
A flip phone made someone feel important in the way a non flip cannot. There was nothing more satisfying than the snap of the lid. It could speak of many things – purpose, annoyance, satisfaction. It was the perfect endpoint to a conversation, an onomatopoeic full-stop.
When flip phones graduated to colour and external screens on the lids, they became even more popular.
It’s interesting that the latest must-have models, such as the iPhone 6, Blackberry Passport, Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are getting bigger and bigger: it’s all about screen size and functional keyboards.
Back in the early 2000s, status was secured by having a device so small as to be almost invisible to the naked eye.
Celebrities have apparently taken to using them as a result of recent hacking scandals such as “The Fappening”. Although it’s debatable whether feature phones are actually all that more secure, given that most also have internet access and GPS functions.
Either way, flip phones are having a resurgence. File alongside cassette tapes, typewriters and film cameras.