Feature phones aren’t something that takes a lot of attention in the mainstream media, but those devices are used by millions of people even today. Well, to be more precise, 1 billion feature phones are currently used in the world, according to IDC. Nokia Mobile reported back in 2017 that there were some 1.3 billion feature phones in use, so there is a decline of 300 million in 4 years, which is not insignificant, but still leaves enough space for manufacturers to keep making feature phones.
It is interesting to know that feature phones make 20% of total mobile phone sales. Smartphones dominate the business, and the main reason is the constant price reduction that makes them available to the masses.
While Android GO smartphones could be considered a transition from feature phones to smartphones, those devices are still not as affordable as KaiOS devices. Those devices are now something that Nokia Asha devices were, a proper transition toward smartphones. There are over 140 models of KaiOS devices, and 156 million were shipped, which is a value of 3.8 billion US dollars. KaiOS devices make around 8% of the feature phone market share.
The main problem of KaiOS is its performance which could be better, and KaiOS announced it is working on the complete overhaul of the OS, but till that arrives, folks will still be using feature phones.
The most popular feature phones in the first nine months of 2021 are Nokia 105, iTel IT2171, which looks like Nokia 105, Jio Phone, Techno T528 and iTel IT5260 (IDC). Interestingly, those five phones make over 20% of the total feature phone shipments. It does make me wonder why other Nokia phones like 110 4G or 215 4G are not on the list since they look cool.
Anyways, Nokia 105 models from 2013 and 2015 were sold in 200 million units, and it would be fun to see how many more Nokia 105 devices Nokia Mobile sold. Maybe there is a chance for Nokia to take the top three places of the most sold mobile phone ever list.
Cheers to Francisco Jeronimo from IDC for sharing this valuable data.