Move over smartphones, flip phones are making a comeback

Who would've thought?
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Attention all: the flip phone is making a comeback…

Yes, you read that right. While many of us thought we’d put the foldable phone to rest in the age of the smartphone, it seems, much like the cyclical nature of the fashion industry, phone models also have a trend shelf life.

And, now, the public has decreed that it’s time for the nineties mobile model to make a comeback.

WATCH: Mobile phones in the ’90s. Article continues after video.

We never thought we’d witness a demand for flip phones in 2023, yet, Gen Z and millennials are driving a resurgence for the pared-back device. Ironically, this very campaign is social-media based. This can be witnessed on the popular platform TikTok where #bringbackflipphones has generated 49 million views.

Labelled ‘dumbphones’, the models have increased in popularity due to a greater public desire of reducing screen time and improving mental wellbeing.

In response to this vocal outcry, OG mobile phone brand Nokia has answered people’s demands with the release of their iconic 2660 Flip phone.

Nokia 2660 Flip, $129 at Nokia (Credit: Nokia)

While their first flip phone launched in 1998, the 2660 model was released in 2007. Slightly elevated in line with current technology, the present model bears all the same basic features as your traditional flip phone.

It’s these basic features that make the present-day appeal so strong. According to research from HMD Global (the maker of Nokia phones), 56% of Australians (study of 1001 Australians) would consider taking a digital detox in the future – while 42% of participants have done so for up to 26 days at a time.

CMO of HMD Global Lars Silberbauer echoed this sentiment: “There’s been a surge of interest in flip phones, and we believe that the interest is coming from a need to take a break from the constant flow of incoming digital notifications, social media and more.”

Is the flip phone back for good? (Credit: Getty)

In efforts to reconnect with their surroundings, the general public has certainly contributed to this theory. Participants in the hashtag #bringbackflipphones have opted for the more simple phone models on nights out (in an attempt to be more social) while some have gone so far as to replace their smartphones completely. 

As for its permanent resurgence, it may be too early to say. But, if one thing’s for sure, we don’t think smartphones will be going away any time soon.

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