Billionaire Warren Buffett, a major Apple investor, uses a $20 flip phone

Key Points
  • Warren Buffett showed off his flip phone during an interview on CNBC on Thursday.
  • He uses a Samsung phone that sells for between $20 and $30 on Ebay.
  • Apple is Berkshire Hathaway's biggest investment, but Buffett still doesn't use an iPhone. 
Buffett: Hard to predict how new Apple services will do
Buffett: Hard to predict how new Apple services will do

Warren Buffett doesn't use an iPhone, despite the fact that the firm he runs, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 5.5% of Apple.

Instead, he uses a $20 flip phone: the Samsung SCH-U320, which is currently selling for between $20 and $30 on Ebay.

Although Apple is Berkshire's largest investment, its founder and leader lacks hands-on experience with the product that accounts for the majority of the company's revenue. However, Buffett does use an iPad to check stock prices and do research.

Buffett showed off his vintage technology during a during a talk Thursday at The Gatehouse's Hands Up for Success luncheon.

"Here's my phone, incidentally. Alexander Graham Bell lent it to me and I forgot to return it," Buffett joked.

On Thursday, Buffett said that Apple can "afford a mistake or two" when breaking into new markets, including entertainment. Buffett has previously said that his interest in Apple shares is not because of the company's short-term finances, but because he believes it has a strong brand and ecosystem.

Buffett's had his older phone for a while, and he even has an iPhone X — he just hasn't set it up yet.

"A fellow sent me a '10' the other day, but I'm not using it yet," Buffett said. "Very nice fellow. He even explained it. I think he pretended he was writing to a three-year-old child. He wrote me this very nice letter and explained what to do with it — how it wouldn't bite me or anything like that. I'm kind of screwing up my courage here and one of these days, I'll move."

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he would fly to Omaha to help Buffett set a new iPhone up.

"I told him I'll personally come out to Omaha and do tech support for him," Cook said in an interview last year.

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Clarification: This report has been updated to reflect that a company operating under the name Berkshire Hathaway existed prior to being taken over by Warren Buffett.