In an alternate universe where up is down and black is white, more feature phones get shipped year-on-year while its replacement, the smartphone, sees sales stall. That's apparently what happened in Japan last year though, according to MM Research Institute. For the first time in seven years, flip-phone shipments grew -- and grew by 5.7 percent to a hard-to-comprehend 10.58 million units. In the same year, smartphones units shipped fell 5.3 percent, down to 27.7 million. Flip-phones still make up a surprisingly large proportion of phone sales in Japan and it's actually the second year in a row that the market research firm has noted a drop in smart device sales. MM Research's Hideaki Yokota told Reuters: "Smartphones are also peaking in terms of functionality and they tend to last a long time as well, so there are fewer renewals."