What just happened? Mega-rich investor Warren Buffett has long sung the praises of Apple, but he’s never been a smartphone fan, preferring instead to stick with a $20 Samsung SCH-U320 flip phone that he joked was given to him by Alexander Graham-Bell. Now, however, he’s finally upgraded to an iPhone 11.
“My flip phone is permanently gone,” Buffett told CNBC. With an estimated $89.5 billion net worth, it’s not as if he couldn’t afford the most expensive model, but the 89-year-old didn’t even buy the handset himself. He’s received several of them as gifts, including from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Apple is Berkshire Hathaway’s third-largest business, with Buffett praising it as “probably the best business I know in the world.” It owns around 5.5 percent of the company, which equates to more than 245 million shares, or almost $72 billion.
Like most octogenarians who own smartphones, Buffett doesn’t intend to load his device with apps and games or spend a lot of time trying out the different camera modes. “You’re looking at an 89-year-old guy who’s barely beginning to get with it,” he said, adding that he doesn’t use “all its facilities like most people.”
“I use it as a phone,” confessed Buffett. Although if he is having trouble with his handset, Cook did say in 2018 that he’d fly to Omaha, Nebraska, to help set up his friend's new phone.
In other Apple news, it was revealed earlier this month that the company was trying to ban a book authored by a former executive for allegedly revealing trade secrets.