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Despite running a company that owns about a significant chunk of Apple, billionaire Warren Buffett famously used a $20 flip phone for the longest time.
Before switching to the latest Apple flagship, Buffett famously used a Samsung SCH-U320. That device, sporting a form factor more than a decade old, featured a 2.2-inch color display and built-in MP3 player. It currently runs about $20 to $30 on eBay.
The Berkshire Hathaway owner even joked about the device’s obvious age. “Alexander Graham Bell lent it to me and I forgot to return it,” he told CNBC back in March 2019.
Even before that, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he would personally fly to Omaha, Nebraska to set Buffett up with a new iPhone. It isn’t clear whether that actually happened, but Buffett now uses an iPhone 11 model and the flip phone is “permanently gone.”
Of course, even though the iPhone 11 represents Apple’s latest and greatest, Buffett admitted that he only uses it for actual calls — “I use it as a phone,” he said.
“You’re looking at an 89-year-old guy who’s barely beginning to get with it,” he told CNBC, adding that it doesn’t use “all its facilities like most people.”
Despite that, Buffett has said that he relies on an iPad to check stock prices and do research.
But Buffett wasn’t just on CNBC to talk about his flip phone. Buffett owns Berkshire Hathaway, an investment firm that owns about 5.5 percent of Apple. In fact, Apple is the firm’s third-largest business, after insurance and railroad companies.
Buffett has previously claimed that his interest in Apple isn’t a result of the company’s financial returns, but in the fact that he believes the Cupertino tech giant has an exceptionally strong brand and ecosystem.
In fact, earlier in the day, he said that Apple is “probably the best business I know in the world.”
According to a Dec. 31 government filing, Berkshire owns roughly 245 million shares of Apple. That was worth a total of $72 billion at the time.
Apple shares themselves are up 80 percent year-over-year but were down about 4 percent on Monday due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in China.