Gen Z are ditching smartphones for 'dumb phones' for a good reason

Gen Z are ditching smartphones for 'dumb phones' for a good reason
Nokia Re-Releases Its Classic ‘Brick’ Phone for 20th Anniversary

Gen Z was arguably the first generation to grow up with the existence of smartphones, but now many are shunning the tech for a very good reason.

According to phone companies, so-called “dumb phones”, which predicated the smartphone as we know it today, are growing in popularity in the US among younger people.

Models similar to the classic Nokia 3310 that was around in the 2000s are seeing a revival as youngsters try to limit their screen time.

While today’s models, known as “feature phones”, have slightly more capabilities, such as GPS or a hotspot, the devices have limited access to the myriad of apps and social media platforms that are commonplace today, leading to lower screen time with the goal of improved mental health.

Jose Briones, the moderator of the r/dumbphones subreddit, told CNBC: “I think you can see it with certain Gen Z populations — they’re tired of the screens.

“They don’t know what is going on with mental health and they’re trying to make cutbacks.”

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In the United States, sales of feature flip phones went up in 2022 for HMD Global, the maker of Nokia phones. This goes against the general worldwide downward trend in sales.

The biggest market for dumb phones is across the Middle East, Africa and India, according to data from Counterpoint Research. But some believe that the market will rise for the US.

“In North America, the market for dumb phones is pretty much flatlined,” according to Patrick Moorhead, an industry analyst. “But I could see it getting up to a 5 per cent increase in the next five years if nothing else, based on the public health concerns that are out there.”

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