Re: I'd like to see a phone version
I still think there's a place for something between feature and smartphone for business use - secure messaging and email, calendar sync, phone calls and long battery life are all I need
The problems there are twofold, firstly everyone's list is slightly different and secondly the wishlist is often created without any regard for the costs of of what is being requested. Oh, and if at this point you start whining about "inefficient software" or "incompetent developers" you are part of the problem: slimming things down dramtically means making hard choices rather than shifting the blame.
Firstly the kichen sink attitude - "This is an app I need, therefore everyone else needs it too or it is useless for everyone." Like some of the comments here on the Punkt phone the other week - Oh, it's useless for business without WhatsApp... seriously? For business? I can sympathise slightly more with another user's demand for Slack even if I don't use it myself but adding that it starts to look more like a conventional smartphone. Added WhatsApp as well, well we may as well call it a smartphone.
The second is user expectations: basic plain text email is easy so we'll have that. You want HTML formatting? That adds bulk. Want to be able to read that attached PDF or Word document? Bang, you're back at a smartphone.
I think the only way you could do this is to ask not what you can remove but start from scratch and ask what it an absolute must have. Calls and SMS - well if it doesn't have those it wouldn't be a phone. Something email-like even if it has to be curated via some proprietary server to simplify the client, like e.g. like Blackberry was. A web browser is itself a major chunk of software these days thanks to the layer upon layer of technology on the modern web, but a cut down version cut be provided serving mobile-targeted content, a modern WAP if you will. For bespoke business applications some database front end targeting a remote server so people can submit timesheets, delivery notes or whatever it might be for that particular organisation.
Start looking at it that way and you have reduced the requirements enough to make a noticeable difference to the requirements of the handset rather than fiddling at the margins. However it's also looking like a WAP-enabled feature phone from 2005. People have moved on since then. I really do hate to say it but it appears people are in general willing to put up with the limitations of modern smartphones if they can be promised all the services they have on that modern smartphone.