Flip phone remains popular [telecom]

An article in the Phhiladelphia Inquirer describes how the old style flip phone has its followers. "Users applaud their simplicity, durability, and low-tech appeal."

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I have one and like it because it serves my needs and is inexpensive. But admittedly, all of my friends and family are addicted to their smart-phones. GPS, photography, texting, and internet access are favorite uses. A flip phone can do a few of those things, but it's cumbersome.

Personally, when I use a computer, I like the traditional desktop model--a fullsized keyboard and screen. When I use the telephone, I talk on it, and like the high sound quality and reliability of a traditional landline.

How long traditional landlines remain available remains to be seen, as Verizon and AT&T seem to be hellbent to discontinue service. How long a flip phone will still be functional likewise is questionable, as many new everyday functions now require using a smart-phone. For instance, to get a taxi (Uber), I believe one needs a smart phone. To travel on public transit, one needs a smart-phone to keep up with delays and schedule changes. Traditional highway maps are harder to find, and GPS is needed.

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Me, too. Since I'm a techie, most people are very surprised that I'm a cellphone luddite. I make very few calls on it, so I have a pay-as-you-go plan that costs me about $120/year -- I think most people with smartphones are essentially forced to buy plays that cost them that much every month or two. It has a web browser, but I've never been able to do anything useful with it.

I have a tablet (Kindle Fire HDX) that I use for mobile apps, the biggest problem is that it's limited to places with WiFi. But that's most places these days, as long as you're not in the boondocks.

I just don't talk on the phone very much! I call my Mom once a week, most incoming calls I get are junk calls. I do most communication via email, and I don't generally need to do that when I'm not at home (there's an email app on the tablet, I almost never use it).

My computer is a laptop, but at home I connect it to a large monitor and fullsize keyboard and use it like a traditional desktop computer. But I can still take it with me when I go on trips, giving me the best of both worlds.

I discovered a few months ago that Lyft's app is available for my tablet. It uses the Location Services, which is based on WiFi hotspot locations, and you can also enter your location by hand if necessary, so the lack of GPS isn't a problem. Since most airports have WiFi, I can use it there.

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Barry Margolin

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