Love sometimes wins over technology, especially in the land of the samurai.
IPhones and Android phones are considered too “smart” by cheaters in Japan. Outdated mobile phone models are still being sought after and sold because they can better protect the privacy of the faithless wives and husbands than smartphones do.
Thanks to their old-fashioned operating systems, those who have more than one relationship can keep all their illicit romances underground. Recently, a new app for Android that can secretly track the users’ call and text record has caused a wave of controversies. In the end, the developer had to re-adjust the feature.
Well, blame it on the old telephones. For the experienced cheaters, old phones can be a great treasure. Models of Fujitsu F-series, now technologically obsolete, allow users to have privacy control superior even to the latest generation of smartphones.
These aging flip phones are called “uwaki keitai” or “infidelity phones.” With the Fujitsu privacy mode, the F-series mobile phones can activate a feature that conceals missed calls, new incoming emails, as well as unread text messages from specific contacts designated as private.
The best part of this feature is that it is barely visible so other people would not be able to tell if the mode is turned on. If one of the user’s secret lovers gets in touch, the only signal of the communication is a subtle change in the color or shape of how the battery sign or antenna bars are displayed on the home screen. If ignored, the call will not show up in the missed call history so no one other than the user himself would find out about the affair.
Since the changes are so subtle, it’s almost impossible for an untrained eye to notice. And, the privacy mode can only be deactivated by entering a secret combination of keys, which of course was set and only-known by the cheaters themselves. When the user turns the privacy mode off, hidden calls and messages will appear, and voicemail will become accessible. Sounds perfect for philanderers, huh?
According to a Wall Street Journal article, Japanese bloggers Bakanabe and Poza, who write about how to pick up women and juggle between various romantic encounters, are truly dedicated and loyal to their old-fashioned flip phones as they realized the fancy smartphones can’t do the same.
However, the popularity of these “infidelity phones” could become a problem of Fujitsu since most manufacturers would only make smartphones now. The older models were made in Japan and the majority of them run on software created for the domestic market. For years, this gave the manufacturers significant control over new features but restricted their global reach at the same time. With smartphones running the Android operating system, the Japanese makers don't have as much control to develop new features.
Fujitsu has started to phase out its older models by introducing a privacy feature that’s similar to that of the old F-Series for its smartphones. But these new models do not seem to meet the public’s satisfaction since they require a separate (instead of the default) mail and address book app developed by Fujitsu.
While Japanese philanderers don’t want to let go of their Fujitsu F-Series flip phones, these older models are not available outside of the Japanese market. (And that’s exactly why Tiger Woods got caught...grrr...) The good news – for cheaters, of course – is that while Fujitsu continues to work on improving its privacy feature, there are also more and more smartphone apps that are looking to function similarly.
Call and Text Erase (CATE), a privacy control app for Android phones, can intercept and hide text messages and phone calls from people on a designated “blacklist.” The app itself is also invisible unless the user activates it by punching in a code.
Will Americans follow the Japanese and revert back to mobile Stone Age of flip phones? If they do, there will be nothing to talk about on television.