Careful now what you say about my previous phone, a Curve.
Actually, from what I've seen it is amazing how many people I've met use their smartphone essentially like that. Most of its' capability is wasted. Texting, pictures and music are it. The rest is on their laptop(now ultra-book I suppose).
In his case he just thinks that an encrypted laptop and a throwaway phone is the best way to go. With 8 hours or more of battery life, or more, on the laptop, easily replaceable battery, and a better selection of software his choice isn't that unreasonable.