11 Apr Is a Smartphone Still a Phone?
Do you remember the old devices, with pulse dial, perhaps even the rotary phone people used to have? Surely you saw some ancient phone devices from back in the days on TV in some old black and white movie, perhaps even the device where you did not even have a dial. You pick up the listening device, the earpiece, and then you ask the operator to connect you with a number. You still can do that, ask your phone to dial a number, only the operator is the phone itself. Despite the remaining functionality of the device still addressed as phone, the capability to make phone calls, the question here is deeper: Is a smartphone still a phone, or something else entirely?
The first mobile phones, cellular devices, hand phone, car phone or however they used to call such devices back in the days, were much larger devices at first. Did you know that first car phones were available in 1946 and that they weighed about eighty pounds? They ran over radio frequencies but were still considered mobile phone devices. Nowadays your regular smartphone can become a smartphone per Bluetooth, where hands-free use is a part of most modern car features. Car phones used to be very popular in the eighties, yet the whole popularity vanished after the modern mobile phone boom happened in the nineties and everybody ran around with either a NOKIA or a Sony-Ericsson phone.
Despite popular belief, the Apple iPhone was not the first smartphone, nor was it the first touchscreen phone, nor was it the first rectangular phone available on the market. The multi-touch capability of the iPhone and other phones stems actually from a music synthesizer concept Robert Moog experimented with, when IBM started to build first touch screens for computers. Years before the iPad was introduced, Microsoft tried to peddle their Tablet-PC without success, initially using a stylus pen, yes years before the Samsung Galaxy Note, later with even touchscreens, or how they used to call it, PixelSense, or the device, Microsoft Surface, again, way before they re-introduced the now familiar concept of Surface Tablets, back in 2007.
Anyway, the smartphone boom did happen with the introduction of the Apple iPhone. Fortunately for all the smartphone aficionados, the boom has proven to be no monopoly, but plenty of companies entered the race, forcing the development of better and more versatile devices to be undertaken. More and more applications, gadgets, features and possibilities entered into the smallish device, which then expanded and became an average of five inch in diameter device, with capabilities that parallel a personal computer, incorporating more than just connectivity, communications, internet browsing and gaming. Smartphones became an everyday necessity, a basic requirement, a focal point in the lives of individuals.
Smartphones are nowadays not only phone devices, but serious connectivity all-rounders. There are dozens of ways how people can communicate, interact and message each other. There are places where you can visit old friends and make new ones. People have fallen in love with persons they met through such communication devices. Businesses are planned, daily schedules created, monies paid, transactions finalized and travel routes defined, all through smartphones and the possibilities such a device provides. Defining a smartphone as a phone is inaccurate at best, more likely a smartphone is a personal assistant, secretary, computer, connectivity device and much, much more than that, a reliable source of information and fun.