Japan making smartphones that resemble dumphones: “What’s the point?”

With freedom comes great responsibility, and in this case Japan was modified the Android OS to cater to their unique needs. Original article translated below:

Cellphone carriers are responding to complaints about smartphones, arguing that phones of yesteryear were easier to call and text, by creating smartphones that resemble dumbphones.

Next month, NTT DoCoMo will be releasing smartphones with simplified user interfaces that feature large buttons, resembling older phones. There’s also a simplified phone log screen to check in/outbound calls, resembling older phones.

A DoCoMo representative noted that “this phone was created for those who are having difficulty transitioning to the new ways of doing things on a smartphone.”

Other carriers like KDDI and SoftBank have also introduced similar models, with the latter offering modified smartphones targeted for the elderly.

Carriers have been observing a slowing of sales due to hesitant customers, so these new phones may just be the push they needed to be introduced to the new smartphone standard.

Unsurprisingly, the reactions online were quick to point out what we’re all thinking:

Why not just keep selling dumbphones?

Are there any reasons to make them into smartphones?


So… the consumers want dumbphones then, right?

Is it cheaper to make smartphones that look like dumbphones?

It’s not about manufacturing cost, but about the data plan revenue

They’re not switching because smartphone plans cost more, come on!

I’ll buy it if it’s a flip phone

I found it:


Who wants this, are they stupid?

Overseas, they try to make the UI easier to use
In Japan, they try to rip everyone off

My grandma only needs to call and text, but her eyes are getting bad, so a dumbphone with a huge screen would be nice…

Give them dumbphones if they want it, are you that insistent to force them to charge their phones more often?

I’m so tired of basing my decisions on the carriers and the phone makers

A dumbphone that resembles a smartphone? We already have a phone that has a bunch of useless features, it’s called Galaxy S4

I don’t care if it’s a smartphone, give me a flip phone that has a hardware keyboard

These phones never get updates

They’ll force LTE and extra features and charge the victims dry

When are they releasing dumbphones that look like smartphones?


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