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Why Some Smart Business Moguls Still Use 'Dumb Phones'

Why Some Smart Business Moguls Still Use 'Dumb Phones'
Image credit: ultratechtalk.com

When it comes to consumer technology, many people are used to coveting the newest and shiniest gadget. So it may come as a surprise that a number of top executives and dealmakers are still clinging to ancient mobile phones.

Of these outmoded mobiles, one stands out as the clear favorite. By all appearances, it's the Nokia 6310, a model that was discontinued more than six years ago. Among its devotees, according to the Financial Times, are Martin Schulz, the president of the European Union's parliament; retail mogul Philip Green; and Julian Dunkerton, chief executive of clothing company SuperGroup, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of more than $1.6 billion.

Why would global leaders hang on to obsolete technology, especially in the high-flying, status-conscious set they move in?

For one thing, old Nokias were built to last: They are hard to damage (no touchscreen to worry about) and have a long battery life. Also, being less connected can actually be an advantage, improving your focus on what's important. With the Nokia 6310, "I'm not bombarded with emails every minute, allowing me to deal with the crucial stuff," Dunkerton told the FT.

And it turns out, an old "dumb phone" can actually serve as a status symbol. It signals to associates that you can't be bothered to check email every 10 minutes. Other people actually like the retro aesthetics.

If you feel the urge to go back to the future, you would do well to check online marketplaces. A search of eBay turns up a number of Nokia 6310 phones for sale, with "buy it now" prices ranging from $44 to $64. Not a bad price for a decent phone -- and a little bit of history.

Related: 5 Simple Steps to Be a Super-Confident Leader

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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