Feature phones

By 2013, it will be a smartphone-majority world

Smartphone sales are expected to hit 54 percent of all cell phone sales by 2013, according to new projections from IHS. That is two years faster than previous projections and shows just how big the market is becoming thanks to low-cost handsets and more smartphone adoption.

Who needs data? Google launches Gmail SMS in Africa

Text messaging. It’s one of the few functions of a feature phone that graduated to today’s smartphones and continues to be used heavily by people all around the world. Now, in three African countries, it can even be used for Gmail at no extra charge.

Smartphone customer satisfaction is hard to get right

Adding smartphones to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s review of cell phone makers this year revealed that customers who buy plain old feature phones for calling and texting are generally happier with the product than their smartphone-owning counterparts. Apple is an exception.

U.S. smartphone ownership eclipses feature phones

The U.S. is now a smartphone nation, with 53 percent of all adult cell phone owners claiming ownership of a smartphone, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Smartphone ownership is most represented among college grads, younger and more affluent adults.

Facebook for SIM uses SMS; no data plan required

Hundreds of millions of handset owners worldwide without data plans have a new way to access Facebook while mobile thanks to Gemalto. The Amsterdam-based company has a SIM card that uses SMS to provide Facebook access for Personal Argentina’s 17.4 million customers; no data plan required.

Facebook Has an App for Feature Phones. Should You?

Facebook recently joined other high-profile brands in releasing a new app for feature phones. The move suggests a wealth of expanded opportunity for distributing products and extending their reach, but should developers target feature phones in addition to smartphones running newer, more powerful platforms? Maybe.

Qualcomm Buys iSkoot, Gains Smart Feature Phone Services

The Qualcomm Innovation Center today announced it has purchased iSkoot, a San Francisco-based startup that offers mobile application services primarily to feature phones. With the acquisition, Qualcomm can feed feature phones with data-friendly proxy services, RSS, email, VoIP functions, real-time notifications and social networking software.

When It Comes to Apps, Feature Phones Are the New Black

Feature phones – you know, those passé, non-OS handsets that account for a whopping 83 percent of the U.S. handset market – are set to join their higher-end counterparts as viable vehicles for mobile applications.