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Japanese companies to stop making 'Galapagos phones'

Flip phones are popular among older users.

TOKYO -- Japanese manufacturers from 2017 will end production of conventional mobile phones with custom operating systems, bringing an end to once-pioneering technology that led to the world's first Internet-able cellphones.

     The operating systems and other core technologies of conventional devices, used primarily for phone calls and texting, are developed jointly by handset makers and wireless carriers. With the rise of smartphones, development of those operating systems have become a drag on their earnings.

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