These days everyone seems to be having a smart phone. It might be difficult for us to recollect a time when they were not around. But before smart phones came in the market there were feature phones. in the beginning they were very basic but slowly features like colored screens, music etc were incorporated. Some games too were developed for them. Still these phones are low end as compared to the smart phone and have limited capabilities. Though some might argue that feature phones work wonderfully as far as functionality is concerned – after all the primary function of a phone is voice calling and text messaging.
Rebirth of the feature phone
Feature phones are still considered a good alternative in emerging markets because they provide the basic connectivity at much lower costs. To bridge the gap that exists between feature and smart phones, of late, some manufacturers have come out with cheaper versions of the smart phone which makes for an attractive buy. This further pushes the feature phone out into the ultra low end category. The answer from manufacturers of feature phones will probably help push it up in the market. The new phones now have Android interface. This not only gives more features to the phone but also takes care of its price and as a result these Android feature phones make for an attractive but. There have been earlier attempts at integrating Android and other smart phone operating systems with feature phone but somehow the push to talk feature, the music apps etc were not successful earlier.
Future of the feature phone
Unlike what you might think, there are still a number of users who have feature phones and when this number runs in millions of devices, it can not be ignored. Marketers rely on the fact that once a user gets used to operating his phone in a certain way, he does not want to change and this is especially true for older users. So, the need is to make the existing feature phone with more features. With all the hardware limitations like a non-existent touch screen and the price factors, manufacturers have modified the Android code so that it fits into the feature phone. This results in enhanced features like emails, photo gallery, GPS tracking etc. According to manufacturers, if certain apps can be made compatible with this phone, it can easily become a business phone that could do GPS tracking hence ideal for those who need fleet tracking for business etc.
An Android enabled feature phone should be seen as a phone that fulfills the basic requirements that you have from a phone plus it has some of the smart phone features. The icing on the cake is that and you do not need expensive data plans to access those features. Android being open source, its coding does not require much investment. In short you get a feature phone which is quite like a smart phone but costs much lesser.