John's Phone is a mobile phone that is made in the Netherlands and sold by John's (Phone From The Supermarket BV). It claims to be the world's most basic cell phone, allowing the user only to make and receive calls, with none of the features of modern smartphones such as a camera, Internet access and text messaging; the address book is a paper pad and a pen, built into the back of the device. It is built around the Keep It Simple concept. It was designed and developed by Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok of Dutch advertising and design agency John Doe Amsterdam. It is marketed as being ideal for children, the elderly, and technophobes. In 2010 Fast Company wrote that John's Phone made it in the top 12 of the Year's Best Ideas in Interface Designs.
John's Phone features a 32-page paper address book kept on the back of the handset. It includes an ink pen that resembles a stylus, a notepad, and a tongue-in-cheek "Games" section (for tic-tac-toe). The designers say that these features allow the phone to be used even when it is turned off. Also included is "text messaging" which is done in the paper booklet. Several pages have "Write your text message here" along with To, From and Message lines and a dotted vertical line for cutting them out. When the 1,200 mAh battery is full, the display will show the word "JOHNS" along the right. The lower the battery, the fewer letters are displayed. The battery lasts about 3 weeks in standby mode or 6 hours of calling time. The device supports ringing and vibration. Although it has no speakerphone, it does come with an earphone / microphone headset that can be plugged into its micro-USB port. It has a capacity of 10 numbers in its speed dial component, and is able to show caller ID on its LCD. The device is not locked, making it compatible with any SIM using the GSM system. The keypad consists of only the numbers 0 to 9, an asterisk, a hash, and the call and end buttons.
John's Phone is available in 5 editions: snow (grey on white), business (white on black), tree (brown on black), grass (white on green) and sweet (white on pink), which cost $100 in the US, and one "premium" edition, bar (golden), which costs $150.
Although the phone has been promoted as being "the world's simplest phone" and "the anti-smartphone" by the tech media, it has also been criticized for being rather overpriced for its so-called simplicity, for rough plastic moulding, and for poor ergonomics. This back-to-basics mobile phone was included in the initial collection of the new Museum of Ideas and Inventions (miBa) in Barcelona which opened in March 2011.
- Jack Loftus. "The Anti-Smartphone". Gizmodo.
- Cory Doctorow. "John’s Phone: the minimalist anti-smart-phone". Boing Boing.
- Thomas Ricker (6 December 2010). "John's Phone review: 'the world's simplest cellphone'". Engadget.
- Karin Thomas (January 26, 2011). "Simplified mobile phone just makes & receives calls". Springwise.com.
- Pichayada Promchertchoo (November 17, 2010). "John’s Phone Launched for Technophobes". eWeek Europe.
- "12 of the Year's Best Ideas in Interface Design". Fast Company. Dec 2010.
- Lavanya Arora (April 14, 2011). "John’s Phone : World’s Simplest Phone". TheTechnoDaily.
- "iPhone vs The simplest phone on the planet". Gizmodo. 11 August 2011.
- "About John's Phone". John's Phone.
- Dave Freeman (September 9, 2010). "Smartphones Bah! The John's Phone Is One Step Away From Two Cans On A String". TechCrunch.
- "John's Store". John's Phone.[dead link]
- "Back To Basics – John’s Phone; World’s simplest Mobile Phone!". Technolism. November 29, 2010.
- "The anti-iPhone: World's simplest mobile that only lets you make calls". Daily Mail. 16 November 2010.
- , John's Phone in museum.