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Think back to 15, 20 years ago. It certainly was a simpler time for a lot of tech, including cellphones. Flip phones were all the rage. Blackberry devices were coming of age as a true smartphone and business necessity.
Time passes, and we’ve moved on to bigger and better things. We now have do-everything computers in our pockets that can also make phone calls.
But not billionaire Warren Buffett. Even though he’s a major Apple investor, you won’t believe the affordable phone he still uses. Ready for a trip down memory lane?
A billionaire with a $20 phone
For someone who runs a business that just happens to own a portion of Apple, you might think that person’s phone of choice would naturally be an iPhone. Nope, and it’s not an Android, either.
Warren Buffett keeps it simple in that regard, which might seem strange since he founded and still runs Berkshire Hathaway. The massive holding company owns 5.5% of Apple, which also happens to be their largest investment.
Instead, Buffett still rocks the Samsung SCH-U320 — a flip phone first released in the summer of 2010 that you can still find on eBay for around $20. Wow.
At the rate technology advances, that phone is certified old. Let’s say your gadgets age at the same rate as dogs, with one year equaling about seven years. That means this phone is almost eligible for Medicare.
Buffett doesn’t mind showing off his old phone
At Gatehouse’s Hands Up for Success luncheon last week, CNBC reports that Buffett showed off his old flip phone during the speaking event. He’s had it for awhile, even though he has something far more advanced. As he explained to CNBC, Buffett actually owns an iPhone X.
“A fellow sent me a ’10’ the other day, but I’m not using it yet,” Buffett said. “Very nice fellow. He even explained it. I think he pretended he was writing to a 3-year-old child. He wrote me this very nice letter and explained what to do with it — how it wouldn’t bite me or anything like that. I’m kind of screwing up my courage here and one of these days, I’ll move.”
Even though he doesn’t use an iPhone, that doesn’t mean he stays away from all Apple products. Buffett actually has an iPad he uses for research and to check stock prices.
The benefits of using a flip phone in today’s world
You might think Buffett is missing out on a lot of things by not utilizing the wonders of the modern smartphone. You’re right. Seriously, how does he cope with not being able to watch cat videos and see others’ vacation photos on social media? Granted, I’ve also heard there are relevant uses for the internet, they’re just harder to find.
When you think about it, though, there are some benefits to using a dumb phone. For one, there aren’t any apps that track everywhere he goes and everything he does. And Buffett’s certainly not getting targeted advertising.
It’s also a safe bet that he doesn’t text day-in and day-out. If he drops it, chances are it’s not going to break.
Then there’s the cost. You know he’s saving tons of money by using a flip phone, even though that’s probably not much of a consideration for Buffett.
But he just takes it in stride, even cracking jokes about his vintage tech.
“Alexander Graham Bell lent it to me and I forgot to return it,” Buffett said.