When does a phone stop being?

Mikey 3 comments
When does a phone stop being?

My mobile phone, much like any other model from the last year or so, takes high quality photos, plays MP3, records video, plays video games, tunes into FM radio, sends and receives email, and has a host of other applications such as a calendar, calculator, stop watch, and too many more to mention. Oh and I can make phone calls on it too.

I think it's time to evaluate at what point is a mobile phone as we know them today, not a mobile phone.

I got my first mobile phone for around 1500 dollars about 15 years ago; I think it was from the Motorola Paving Brick range. Its extensive feature set and alpha numeric characters allowed me to make phone calls, receive phone calls, and store 32 numbers within the 3 hour battery life. And that's pretty much it. The term 'mobile phone' was most apt because it was mobile; it was a phone, and nothing else.

"I am a firm believer in the 'one device' philosophy"

Fast forward to today and competition between different manufacturers has seen mobile phones go from being a single purpose device to a multi purpose device. And I truly get it. I want as much as I can get into my phone as well, as I am a firm believer in the 'one device' philosophy.

Can you imagine carrying around an individual digital camera, mp3 player, calculator, calendar, radio and phone? Heck no. I want it all on one device and then some.

I say we simply drop the suffix, and simply refer to them as a 'mobile'. Some people already do if only out of laziness, but they unknowingly have hit the nail on the head.

I for one actually use my phone for MP3 playback more than I use it to make calls. Essentially I have an MP3 player that has the extra functionality of being a phone. It coincidentally has an option of running as a dedicated MP3 player with all phone functions disabled.

New models are beginning to appear with larger screens, more connectivity options and full keyboards, making for less distinction between mobile phones and laptops.

Apple are all set to cash in on the iPod phenomena with the iPhone, nVidia have demonstrated a next generation proof of concept and Samsung have just released the astonishing F700.

This decade is looking to be an exciting year for mobile technology innovation. I can't wait.

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Thursday 22nd February 2007 | 11:12 PM

Im sorry but theres nothing you can say that will make me leave my beloved ipod at home. But it would be nice to make calls on it too. Oh wait! isn't that what the iphone does! :-p

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Saturday 24th February 2007 | 07:01 PM

on the news the other day it was mentioned that the mobile phone is 20 years old. the battery was in a small suitcase and lasted for twenty mins and cost was $4000!!

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Wednesday 23rd May 2007 | 09:05 AM

Having worked in the industry I know that there more people out there who just want a plain old phone that just makes calls, with maybe sms included. In fact, probably the single most requested mobile feature was "numbers you can see without having to put on glasses". Being able to push the buttons without a pen or other small pointy device was also a bonus. :-)

Luckliy phone manufacturers seem to be moving away from the "smaller is better" philosophosy and moving into, "lets make this thing as easy to use as possible".

Having said that, I love the camera on my phone (ooops sorry, my mobile :-P). Thats probably my single most used feature, even more so then the phone itself.

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