Any phone not wired together is referred to as a “mobile phone” in general. Cell phones, Wi-Fi phones, and satellite phones are also included. But, mobile phone technology has come a long way. If you’re old enough, you must have enjoyed seeing this technology unfolding before our eyes!
Today’s smartphones are all-encompassing convergence powerhouses that serve as your radio (albeit a very intelligent one), music player, game console, television, messenger, doctor, secretary, camera, wallet, and even bank. It comprises features, capabilities, form, portability, and computing power. For instance, you can use them to shop, hold meetings, gamble online real money casino, or record a class to share with your students. Besides that, you can also use them to create official documents like you would on your laptop!
But that wasn’t the case, at least not until the middle of 2000. The majority of callers back then used landlines. Years used to pass before one could even obtain a house landline. To transmit and receive messages, folks would use their pagers (remember those beepers?) Cell phones were only available to the privileged.
With current smartphones having so many features, the number of phone calls made by mobile holders has been increasingly reducing. For instance, data from US cell providers revealed that they are making more money from data than voice calling. Mobile apps have played a critical role in reducing old-fashioned phone calls.
These developments raise this critical question – why do we still call these devices phones?
It’s A Marketing Issue!
Wireless companies want their clients to think of these gadgets as phones first. This is because their offers are primarily in the phone department and are superior to their data offers. As a matter of fact, the companies make millions of dollars from their clients’ propensity to overestimate the number of calls they make monthly. They also benefit from the clients underestimating the data they use monthly.
For instance, you probably spend about 100 USD per month for a phone plan which gives you X minutes per month and Y gigabytes of data. While that package serves you well, you bump into an offer worth 60 USD that offers unlimited talk time and text with the same amount of data. Sounds great, right?
Not really! Your data usage will likely go up from two gigabytes to five gigabytes. Therefore, although you found a cheaper plan, you’ll still be spending around 40 USD monthly on average charges. This means you’ll still be paying 100 USD to use your phone monthly.
Studies have revealed that an average North American smartphone user requires around six gigabytes of monthly data. This shows that most smartphone users use their gadgets for other functions than making phone calls.
They Are More Than Just Phones!
So, why do people still refer to them as phones? Some experts argue that it is odd to refer to these vast and all-encompassing devices simply as phones. It is like calling a microwave a “popcorn maker” or a car a “radio box.” You can use your smartphone to make calls. However, how well it can do everything distinguishes one smartphone from the other.
In this sense, we will do these devices justice by calling them a name that better reflects how we utilize them. For instance, we can learn from the British and simply call them “mobiles.” Alternatively, we can call them “mini-tablets” or pocket computers.
While these words sound weird to what your ears are accustomed to, they are better descriptors of these gadgets! What are your thoughts?