Pity the poor basic phone. Despite being in high demand from beginner and casual cell phone users, handsets that make calls remain largely unloved by carriers and even by manufacturers. From a carrier's perspective, models that feature voice capability and little else don't bring in a lot of money. Carriers love the extra revenue gained from multimedia messaging, data usage, and the sale of flashy (and pricey) handsets. As a result, basic phones are often shoved to the back of the store. There is a market for them, however, and it's too bad they don't get more respect. But what's more surprising is that even some manufacturers feel the same way. An LG spokesman said today that his company doesn't "do" entry-level phones. "What's the value to a consumer in a free, entry-level phone?" he asked. Well, I can think of a few right off the bat, but the primary benefit is that a basic phone just works at performing its primary function. And let's not forget that the phone is free (with service). Of course, the company does offer some simple mobiles, such as the, but I expect such models will remain few in number.