An end of a great era has been announced in Japan…
Domestic Mobile phone manufacturer have announced that they will halt production of “Garake” (Feature Phones) in 2017.
ガラケー “Garake” short for Galapagos Keitai: Keitai meaning Mobile Phone and Galapagos is an island and who knows where, living their own lives not being influenced by other cultural forces, leaving them with a completely unique ideals of living. Japan at times considers themselves Galapagos since they live on an island secluded from the other countries thus feeling like they live a unique way of life compared to everyone outside of Japan.
Manufacturing companies reasons for halting production of Feature phones was due to the surge in Smartphone market share. IDC Japan reported in a December 10, 2014 analysis that in Japan, there are still 38% of users that still use feature phone and with this announcement, the media experience quite a bit of an outcry for those that still love the feature phone, and still use them today.
2017 is about 16 months away from when i write this post, but it will be pretty interesting to see how fast the feature phone market share drop once 2017 hits.