Dumb-phones Still Rule The Cell Phone Roost

With all of the talk about smart-phones, most notably the Apple iPhone, we sometimes forget that the bulk of phone users use what are affectionately now called dumb-phones. The plain old cell phone that does little except to make a call or send text is used by the majority of the 234 million Americans over the age of 13 years old. According to a recent survey from comScore, RIM [Research In Motion] the maker of the Blackberry, accounts for only about 8.3% of the market. The Apple iPhones share is so small it is not even listed.

Here are the leading sellers of cell phones:

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Mar. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Dec-09 Mar-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 21.2% 21.9% 0.7
Motorola 23.5% 21.9% -1.6
LG 21.9% 21.8% -0.1
RIM 7.0% 8.3% 1.3
Nokia 9.2% 8.3% -0.9

So in a day an age of smart-phones that fill the daily news, it is good to know I am in good company with the majority of you who still use dumb-phones everyday. LOL

Comments welcome.


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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Dick

    Lemme see if I can get my mind around this.
    You pick up a phone, punch in a number and talk to the person you intended. Add a couple of goodies like storing numbers, and a duplex speaker. And maybe a big OFF button. Wish for bigger buttons and a display that shows the name and number of outgoing and incoming calls so you can actually see them at a glance. That about covers it for me. So how smart/dumb is a phone that will do all that? My washing machine does exactly what it’s designed to do but I don’t call it smart. But my phone does exactly what it’s designed to do and it’s either dumb or smart.

    Maybe the folks who toss around the dumb/smart thingy need one of those labels applied to them?

    • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

      Hi Dick,
      We have become a society where everything needs a label.

  • leftystrat

    You might be surprised at the utility of a `smart’ phone.
    Way WAY back, I used to carry a Palm Pilot and a cell phone. At that point, it made sense to integrate both functions into one device. The capabilities have gotten better over the years.

    I now use a Droid, which serves as a phone, calendar, address book, audio (and video) player, alarm, news reader, web browser, network monitor, and guitar tuner. That’s a lot of utility.

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  • kpslover007

    Well, It aint gonna be that way for long. People are swapping their dumb phones for smart phones. I plan to get an iPhone when the new one comes out this summer. I wouldn’t imagine anyone in this day and age wanting to buy a RAZR or LG Chocolate when they can get an Android phone for the same price.

  • Levi

    I haven’t the money nor the desire to have a phone with more than basic functionality.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m as technology crazed as the next college student but when I actually stop to think about how often, and for what purposes, I use my phone. A “smart” phone just is not worth my time or money.

    In fact at those prices I can get myself a basic phone and a net book which does just as much if not more. Just my opinion.

    But yes I am a user of “dumb” phones and proud of it.

    But, Ron Schenone, what do you mean we’ve “become” a society that needs to label everything? We’ve always been that way. In my study of Social Studies classification and labeling are a staple of human thinking. And in the information processing theory of how people learn we fit all sensory data into schema and schemata for use in information transfer and projection.

    • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

      Hi Levi,
      Good point.

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  • http://www.gavinstipsandtricks.co.nr/ Gavin Roskamp

    I think almost everyone is forgetting one thing that keeps me from buying a smartphone. Well two…

    One: Network choice.
    Why change networks to get a snazzy phone when you have one that works just fine on your current one?

    Two: Mobile Data Plans
    Are you serious? These plans run for WAY more than normal phone plans do. This is probably the biggest reason I’m not buying a smartphone. You have to pay out the butt to get one, then you have to be attacked every month with a bill big enough to eat up hell and half of Georgia!

    So no, I am not buying a smartphone. I have an iPod Touch and a “dumb”phone, so together they are a very smart phone. iPod for music, entertainment, all that kind of stuff, and phone for PHONE stuff. Like talking and texting.

  • http://www.snmakeham.com rhemaangel

    These days it seems such a novel concept to have a phone that *GASP* actually just makes phone calls & text messages. LOL! Only thing extra I really need on mine is a decent camera. I don’t WANT to access the internet or my email when I’m away from home. And Twiiter — puh-leez! I DO have a life in the REAL WORLD. (Yeah, scary place these days. I know)

    Just give me the basics along with good netwrok coverage & I’m happy. :o)