Smartphone, App Phone, Superphone — What’s in a Name?

Person with phoneThose of us who fall in the “tech enthusiast” crowd like to, no, need to put a nice, neat tag on everything. We’ve spent years trying to explain the difference between “feature phones” and “smartphones”, because we have to put a simple tag on every piece of tech gear. It’s just how we roll.

David Pogue feels that “smartphone” is no longer fitting for the phones of today. According to Pogue, the new phone is much more capable than the old smartphone, and the term no longer describes what these phones can do in just a word or two. He feels that a “smartphone is a cellphone with e-mail” and that new phones today are simply too capable to be lumped in with these old phones by name. That’s the reasoning behind his putting “app phone” out there. While it fits one of the primary benefits these new phones provide, it just doesn’t resonate with me.

Others have referred to the new, capable phones as “superphones.” The reasoning behind such a moniker is that once you get a platform behind a smartphone, it gets super powers. There’s a fair bit of logic behind this, but for some reason I don’t feel the love for “superphone.” Maybe it’s knowing that there will be another, more capable version of such phones down the road, and superphone is a hard act to follow.

So, if we absolutely must pin a new name on the über-phone of today, what should it be? We have to honor our obsession with putting neat tags on new things, after all. It’s time to poll you, dear readers, to get your suggestions for naming the new generation of phones. What say you?

By way of suggestion — I have a few ideas that should be taken with a grain of salt. I often look at things from a skewed angle, and this is no different.

Wingman — The über-phone of today ties us into our peeps like never before. Social networking is ingrained in the very home screens of these phones. Our phone has our back, in other words.

My junk — Phones today are often the tool we use to access our information no matter where we happen to be. We have all of our contacts, our music, photos, even videos we hold dear. The phone is the tool we use to carry all of our junk around with us. Of course, calling our phone “my junk” would lead to rather comical moments, including such statements as “I left my junk at home today, and man do I feel incomplete.”

My little buddy — Our phones have become our little buddies that are always with us, thus the tag. “I’d be lost without my little buddy with me.” You get the drift.

These are obviously put forth in jest, but if you were seriously going to suggest a new tag for these very capable phones, what would it be? Leave it in the comments and let’s nail this down.


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