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History Of The Flip Phone

Lifestyle | by Charlotte Bolton | Feb 23, 2024

History Of The Flip Phone

Originally, when first released the flip phone was loved for its slimmer, thinner design in comparison to the ‘brick like’ design of most phones. Their unique design made them very popular in the 90’s… but in early 2010’s they very quickly became ‘uncool’ with the rise of new tech like Apple and Samsung. Smartphones very quickly began to take over the market with their better screens, software, and overall performance. But now, the world of flip phones and smartphones have combined, and a brand new era of Flip Phones and foldable technology has begun which we can’t wait to explore.

From going out of style to suddenly becoming the new face of tech, it’s time to unpack what happened to the flip phones and the foldable phone and how they maintained popularity for such a long period of time.


Related blog: Apple Flip What We Know So Far

When did flip phones become popular?

1996 – The first ever flip phone was released, the Motorola's StarTAC.

2000: Other big phone brands began releasing flip phones amid the success, Samsung released the Samsung SPH-M100, with a built in MP3 player which was also a flip phone.

2004-2009 – After the take off of the tech with the old flip phones samsung tech officially beginning, lots of phone companies began developing their flip phones to further improve their performance and power. Two phones which gained lots of popularity through this time was the Motorola V3 RAZR and Sony Ericsson w508. The Motorola V3 RAZR had impressive features like a digital camera and MPEG4 video whilst the Sony Ericsson w508 was an ideal choice for listening to music and playing games. Flip phones also became very thin which meant they were great for transportation and storing whilst on the go.

2010 – Blackberrys began getting popular, with their wireless options and access to emails they were great tools for business.

 

However, after 2010 the flip phone saw a drop in sales, there was a couple newer tech companies that were beginning to steal the spotlight from major companies like Nokia and Motorola… and these were Apple and Samsung.

 

When did flip phones lose popularity?

2007 – The original iPhone was announced and released, a smartphone where users could simply touch the screen instead of pressing buttons to use.

2009 – The first Samsung Galaxy was launched with an Android operating system. (This phone actually belongs to the iconic Galaxy S Series which still runs to this day.)

 

And as smartphones began to overtake the market, lots of people were interested in this new innovative tech, there was no buttons, no flip, just a screen. It was something no one had ever seen before and by mid-2010’s the flip mobile phones manufacturers just stopped producing altogether.

 

Why are flip phones so popular now?

2011-2019 – The flip phone community went radio silent for a long period of time, which most people believed meant the end of the flip phone. Smartphones were beginning to take over, with the iPhone now being a household word and Samsung Galaxy focussing on their smartwatch selection.

2019 – TikTok began to completely take off allowing individuals to communicate from all over the world, share their thoughts and show their creativity and talent. It also gave users the opportunity to reminisce over the past, giving younger audiences chance to see what life was like before tech and letting older audiences share their favourite childhood memories.

2020 – Samsung and Motorola both introduced their new flip phones, which would be a mix between a smartphone and the flip phone classic design. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip was a 4G only device with a 6.7” folding AMOLED display. It was completely different to old flip phones as the phone had no buttons and the screen itself folded. It was actually revealed a year later in 2021 that this device was one of the most popular phones of 2020.

2021-2023 – For the next few years, nostalgia hit, and it became clear that the flip phone was making a return. Samsung released even more flip phones currently working on their Samsung Z Flip 6 and there were also many more new models created:

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
  • Motorola Razr Plus
  • Motorola Razr
  • Oppo Find N3 Flip
  • Google Pixel Fold

Present day – And it seems like the model isn’t going away any time soon, with Apple in talks of creating a flip phones for sale and possible talks of a ‘rollable phone’ available in the near future.

Related blog: Rollable Phones


 

Conclusion:

Thank you for reading our tech blog. We cannot wait to see what happens in the future when it comes to the world of smart tech and foldable technology. Will we see even more unique ways to keep our tech compact but powerful? We have already seen the virtual world and real life blend together with the introduction of VR and AI so who knows what could happen next, and we can’t wait to see! We have plenty of cheap flip phones available right now, have a look!

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