The ‘digital detoxing’ trend has seen Gen Z and millennials across the globe forsaking their smartphones for retro feature phones instead. Sparked by a TikTok video from user Sammy K which gained traction, this trend has seen a resurgence of interest in physical keyboards and feature phones – providing a much-needed reprieve from ever-present algorithms and videos.
According to analyst firm Counterpoint Research, the market for feature phones, which are typically cheaper than standard Android or iPhones, is now booming with prepaid options starting at merely $20 and unlocked models available for less than $100.
This plunge into the past demonstrates not only how technology can be better used for wellbeing but how trends can fast become reality with even the most unlikely of items – in this case, the flip phone – gaining newfound attention.
A recent forecast by Counterpoint has predicted that sales within the phone market for minimalist, easily accessible devices will have risen to $2.8 million by 2023. This market, which currently only accounts for 2% of the global phone market, is expected to remain stable over the short term.
Counterpoint suggests that this surge in popularity is due to digital detox movements gaining traction with millennials and Gen Z, as well as potential B2B sales and tourists/casual consumers seeking a cost-effective option. While it remains unclear as to how the sales figures will develop over time, it is evident that the minimalist phone trend is driven in large part by younger audiences eager to keep up with current trends.