Old mobile phones on the comeback: here is what they are not telling you

The news on all global top media channels from CNN to New York Times, are that old is good. More and more people are

The news on all global top media channels from CNN to New York Times, are that old is good. More and more people are buying old phones whose prices are now increasing, and the likes of Nokia and Motorrola quietly dusting off their old production lines to make more to the market.

It is a new development that is threatening the market value of smart phone makers especially Samsung and Apple. So why are people going back in time to say old is gold? Here are my expert views – things they are not telling you.

After eight years as a forensic and cybercrime investigator, I have discovered that old phones are more secure than the recent ‘smart’ ones.

Here are the three reasons:

Memory vs security.

The phones of the old use basic technology and basic functionalities. So, you will only be making or receiving a phone call, receiving or sending an SMS (short messaging service) and of course radio/ reminders. That is all. As a forensic expert, I tend to find little amount of information from a retro (old/ historical) phone than today’s smart phone. All I can find from a retro is a call log history that may be a few months old as the old get overwritten with increasing use. However, in today’s smart phone you really find a goldmine of social network posts, messages and a plethora of stuff that help take you deep into the minds of your suspects.

I am sure as all government’s try to be secure; they are going back in time to what used to work. Every technology for hacking is based on recent technologies and anticipated developments. Going to retro phones is not only a low cost option, but will require hackers to invest some money in RD to try to see how to use satellite technology to keep messages and call data of suspects. Me and you know that, storing voice messages requires huge investment in data servers and lots of skills. It is just costly.

That is why when I saw our president (H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni) using a smart phone to twit a selfie, my heart jumped. The President holds top secrets to state security. You just cannot afford to show to the world the kind of smart phone he uses (something’s are better left in confidence). Hope that was the first and last use of that phone by His Excellency!

Productivity vs class.

New smart phones are killing productivity slowly, while promoting intellectual property theft. With the developments like BOYD (bring your own device), means staff prefer to buy their own smart phones and mobile gadgets at work probably because the company is not willing to pay for you a gadget you need – you just buy it and put all your company resources –official email, internal email, official contacts, all confidential corporate information – on your smart phone. What happens when you call it quits? You find a senior staff is leaving with their ‘private smart device’ containing all critical company info just like that. In case one is suspected in a possible fraud at office, it would take a court order to get hold of your personal machine, at what time you could have tempered with evidence.

I think companies are encouraging the use of old phones to restore sanity. Customer help people are more likely to be updating their Facebook profiles than attend to a client. That is not only fraud of the highest order, but had short term implications of customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Global economy dynamics

The 2008-2010 financial crisis brought to the fore the need for cost cutting and austerity measures to restore sanity. Any initiatives that cut costs are being explored. People want to prioritize investing in value addition instead of life style.

Now that Microsoft bought Nokia, one of the top companies in smart phones industry in the by-gone years. Going back in time is the best for them. You see, Microsoft has failed the battle for smart phones.  I wouldn’t be surprised for them to be pushing for the retro phones as they bring several benefits and could lead to several savings.

For example, in the US today, to cut on health care costs, they are now encouraging medical doctors to error on prescribing generic medicines instead of branded ones. You see, generic medicines are over 80% – 90% cheaper than their branded counterparts yet they perform to the same quality.  France government followed suit for this financial year. (Find more of this in June 2014 SB magazine www.sbreview.net).

You see the need to change people’s spending habits could be behind the rise and rise of the retro phone. And the reasons are justified.

Further reading on this:

New York Daily News

Daily Mail, UK

CNN (visit their website).

Copyright  Mustapha B Mugisa, MBA. Your Success Partner. 

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