Android Flip/Dumb Phones – Not Too Far Off?


The guys over at AndroidandMe have published an article that has piqued my interest. They did a rather stellar job of putting together a few possible puzzle pieces and coming up with what could be coming in the future.  Or what coulda’ been coming and won’t. Or what won’t come.

My point is – this is all purely speculation but it’s speculation that’s at least backed with some solid thinkin’.


They started with some info found within the CLIQ source code, including the name,  LaJolla, and some specs. For example, the screen size of 240 x 400. They touch on the new screen sizes available in the latest SDK release (like for example, 240 X 400 (and lower)), and polish it off with some comments Motorola has said in the past. One such quote:

“Our core strategy really is to take Android and take Android to as low down the feature phone tier, as we possibly can, by bringing in Smartphone features, best of Internet, best of messaging, best of multi-media, best of location services.”

So does this mean what they might think it means? A Motorola LaJolla – the cheapest Android phone yet? Are Android flip phones on the way? I wouldn’t be shocked and amazed myself.  Flip phones.. dumb phones.. they’re all apart of the market too, so why wouldn’t Android want in that as well?

Head on over for the full article which includes a couple more pictures to fuel your imagination and details on how they came to their conclusion.

Tell us what you think. I for one would love to see some Android dumb phones. As mentioned here, the wife and I aren’t lookin’ to pay for multiple data packages at $29.99 a pop, so other Android options would be awesome!


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  1. Piqued your interest, not ‘peaked’.

  2. I am not interested what so ever. I think flip phones were a fad that has passed, I used want a flip phone and I got one as my first phone and it did not take me very long to hate it. I then went to a phone with a keyboard and I liked it, but after a while that was done too. I moved onto a touch screen phone and I love it. I have only used dump phones for now, I get my droid later this month, and I think keeping android on touch screen phones is the way to go. Besides, most dumb phones do not use internet or any of that other stuff because if you are gonna pay for that you should get a smart phone.

  3. Finally!
    I can’t be the only person who wants an Android flip phone without a touch screen.

  4. @graham:

    You are. We made sure of that. We took a poll and sent the others who agree with you to the Village.

  5. graham, you should be ashamed to call yourself an American.
    Your love of flip phones is an attack on “freedom-loving Americans” all over this great state of Alaska.

  6. @graham over in japan I think it was sharp who was making it, but they have a fliphone that has a keyboard, android, and a touch screen

  7. @Keni,

    That would be awesome. Just because the iPhone was designed with the exposed screen as the entire front of the phone doesn’t mean all other phones have to be like that. I have a Samsung Moment and love it, but I would love it even more if it was a flip instead of a slider. I would feel much more at ease while carrying it in my pocket if the screen was protected by the back of the keyboard.

  8. The pics on full article show a phone similar to a blackberry pearl. I’ve been wondering why there haven’t been any blackberry pearl/ blackberry bold style android phones yet to date. This article explains that. (The screen quality was not yet supported by the android OS).

    When i had a T-mobile Dash, i started with the Tmobile Email package for $6/mo. Maybe this kind of phone would be perfect for people who want multiple email accounts, but not an elaborate internet experience.

    I’ve wanted to get my wife an android phone with GPS so that we can use google latitude, but she hates touch screens. This might be an option in the future.

  9. That is the whole point of Android! Google wanted to stimulate the market so that “Dumb” phones could run Android so that they can reach all customer bases with Advertising. They want to have every income range to have android phones so that every income range can be targeted for advertising thus making Google more rich so they can bring you more free stuff!!!!!

  10. What if the Droid had a flip style keybord (flip length wize) so it could protect the screen when in the pockit?

  11. g, so you mean like a ds?

    i don’t know if android on a flip phone would work, at least not without significant retooling.

  12. also, g, *pocket

  13. It’s definitely a good idea. Get Android in as many hands as possible. That’s kind of the goal for Android anyway, right?

  14. this would make the dumb cheap phones a lot smarter. They’d all have the ‘real’ internet and tons of apps from the Market (and other markets).

  15. Dumbphones with android are not dumbphones.


    I want a killer Lotus or Razr2 like Android phone.

    Or like the DS, two touchscreens.

    Make something killer, someone!

  17. This is great news. I’m not sure if I’d ever want to go back to flip phones from mytouch 3g but there are still a lot of people out there that do like flip phones and with android open source, flip phones don’t have to suck anymore.

    They can be a bit more productive compared to what is available in the market and still be cheap, small and flipping floppin! (sorry I’m on a boat just randomly came to my mind!)

    Take a good hard look at my Android Phone!! Someone should do a song on Android Phones VS. iPhone Users

  18. Sorry guys, but the future of mobile phones is “smart” and the increasing bringing together of computers, phones, entertainment media into a single device.

  19. Honestly I would love a Razr with Android that would be hot!!! Razr still my favourite dumb phone. Razor is smarter than some phones on the market now, which is a shamE!

  20. @petergdakin
    I think it looks like the opposite. We’re seeing more granularity than ever before. There are now dumb phone, smart phones, eBook readers, netbooks, laptops, and desktops. And those just cover home users. Each one of those serves a different purpose that all the others fail on.

    Some things will certainly converge. For most, there isn’t much use for a traditional car GPS if you have something like Droid + Car Dock.

    Instead, things are just working together more. I don’t think your phone will ever replace your TV — however, you can use your phone as a remote control for your TV, or for watching your TV while you’re away, etc…

  21. No Android should never be flipped out or dumb down it would take away from android itself Android without touch? thats just crazy and shouldn’t be done… it would be the worst choice any manufacturer can make.

  22. @2FR35H

    Why not?

    Barnes and Noble’s new eBook Reader, the nook, runs Android. It’s not anywhere near a cell phone, yet they were able to find benefits from the open platform.

    I think that Creative is doing some work on a media player that utilizes Android.

    There are tons of rumors of other web-enabled devices that have benefits from running Android.

    If devices that aren’t cell phones become better with Android, why can’t a dumb phone? Obviously the experience wouldn’t be the same as an Android smartphone, but no one really expects that. It would almost certainly be better than the current dumbphone offerings.

    Android is just starting to get going. It’s definitely not the time to be getting elitist about it. It’s flexibility and openness is what sets it apart from the iPhone.

  23. I think flip phones will still appeal to a certain group of people, and I’m sure Android is flexible enough to be adapted for more “standard” phones. If there is no expectation that these phones will be able to install apps, there won’t be any additional fragmentation of the Market.

    And I must say that if you are a power sms texter who types messages by touch alone (not needing to look at the screen/keys), nothing beats having a physical phone number pad. With only a touch screen, it is no longer so easy to, ahem, surreptitiously send someone a text msg without letting the other people in the meeting room know you’re doing so. :-)

  24. this phone is clearly TMobile’s answer to Verizon’s Droid and Sprint’s Hero.

  25. @Anthony

    There is already a media player that utilizes android… That would be the newer Archos 5. How much you wanna bet when and if creative comes out with android in their media player that it will be touch screen?

    Anyways back to my reply. I am not saying android should only be for phones but Android on phones is about the touch feature and trying to be an iPhone killer. A dumb phone or flip phone can not kill the iPhone. Plus those types of phones are a thing of the past.

  26. People want a simple flip phone with buttons that you can feel being pushed.
    All these new touch screen phones are annoying and stupid.
    Bring back the flip design and stop the selling of screen protectors.

  27. I hope this wasn’t the backflip, because the backflip opens the wrong way. The reason I want a flip phone is so that the keyboard and keys don’t get beat up in my pocket.

  28. No touchscreen phone should ever be carried in the “pocket” that’s screen disrespect, especially one that runs android.

  29. I have the G1 and I was an early adopter of the android system. As a cell phone geek I would still say that my favorite type of phone was a candy bar style phone like the Motorola SLVR. The phones can’t really be compared as they are so different, but what I hope for in the future is a candy bar android smart phone.

    Having a physical number pad is a comfort i’ve had to live without for a long time now. I’m tired of it. Also, touch screens are gimmicky. Give me a trackball or directional pad any day.

    Huge screens are unnecessary in my opinion. they eat up battery life, and can get broken easier. put android 1.6 (2.1 or whatever) on a motorola SLVR, give it real GPS, WIFI, an accelerometer and BlueTooth and i’ll pay astronomical amounts of money for it.

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