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They Did What?: 

NoPhone Zero is the smartphone downgrade you’ve been waiting for


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Remember NoPhone? The satirical smartphone surrogate managed to raise $18,000 last year via Kickstarter for what is essentially a black rectangle. Now, it’s back for more, and its latest device claims to be even more useless than the original.

Like the first iteration, the new and diminished NoPhone Zero can’t send texts, take pictures, play games or make phone calls. WhatsApp? Don’t even think about it – in fact, the only way to get somebody’s attention with this thing is to yell “catch!” and throw it in their direction.

But, like the small improvements made between the iPhone 6 and 6S, the NoPhone Zero has been subtly downgraded so that it’s somehow even less useful than before.

How do you downgrade NoPhone?

Still modeled on the shape and dimensions of an iPhone 5, the NoPhone Zero will feel familiar to fans of the NoPhone, but it’s now been stripped of its branding as well as the grooves in the original that mimicked buttons and features. Literally, then, this is a black rectangle.

Perhaps conscious that its joke could wear thin, NoPhone set a lower price tag to match its decreased functionality, and at $5 it’s well-priced as a not-so-subtle message to send to your tech-addicted friends. Sure enough, the company has again met its Kickstarter target, receiving full funding in less than 48 hours.

“The NoPhone Zero is the closest a NoPhone has ever come to nothing at all,” said the company’s Senior Vice President Chris Sheldon. NoPhone co-founder Van Gould added: “We want to become the largest fake phone company in the world – that’s kind of the goal.”

We’re not sure who they’re competing against, but we’d bet they’ve achieved that much already. Still, the company hopes to one day downgrade NoPhone to the point that they don’t even need to ship the black rectangles.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a few extra features, then you might want to try the NoPhone Selfie – a $15 version with a stuck-on mirror to satisfy your vanity.

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