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From candybars to flip phones, consumers make their case for keeping it simple




Nokia cellular phones are seen on display at wireless store in San Mateo, California.
Nokia cellular phones are seen on display at wireless store in San Mateo, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Are basic cell phones obsolete? 

If this sounds like a rhetorical question, US sales actually increased by 2 million last year, bringing the grand total to 24 million simple phones sold in 2015. But what makes these phones attractive?

Brian X. Chen, lead consumer technology writer for the New York Times says there are several reasons people are still opting for simplicity in the digital age, including a much longer battery life and clearer phone calls.

Others have said “dumb” phones shield consumers from data theft, are made with durability in mind and allow for days uninterrupted by constant push notifications.

Are you refusing to upgrade to a smartphone? Why or why not?

Guest:

Brian X. Chen, lead consumer technology writer, New York Times; he tweets from @bxchen