Taking the “Phone” out of Smartphones?

This article will briefly go over the forms of communication that are becoming more popular than traditional phone calls, and why the smartphone name might not represent the actual device itself now and into the future.


More Than Just a Phone
We use our smartphones to interact with a wide variety of media and applications as a form of entertainment, enjoyment, and work. Taking photos, listening to music, checking the weather, interacting on social media, messaging/texting, playing games, checking emails, catching up on the news, watching videos, and banking are all things we now rely on these devices to help us with our daily lives. This makes the smartphone a multimedia device, which is a more accurate way of defining these devices. The proper and correct way to define a smartphone would be “a multimedia mobile device that also happens to make a phone call if needed.”


Using the phone application is an action that is there to use if we need it, but it does not get used as much as it once did in the past. There are a few specific and unique situations where using the phone is still relevant, which makes it useful in today’s society. We usually only expect to use the phone application to place a call for customer service reasons or to interact with a place of business for setting up an appointment. Aside from that, the only other time many people use the phone on their smartphones is during an emergency situation to dial out to the emergency services. These reasons alone are more than enough to keep the phone service live and active, potentially making them a regular part of our devices well into the future until something else comes along to make it obsolete.

No longer does a phone represent a physical object that only served a single purpose. The “phone” part of the smartphone has been reduced down to nothing more than another application on our devices that we use to initiate a voice call. Yes — it is true that the younger generation tends to use the newer ways of communication over a phone call. However, phone calls in the traditional means through our smartphones are probably not going to die off anytime soon since they still serve a purpose.

Other Forms of Communication
Smartphones have become so advanced that labeling them as “just a phone” is more irrelevant now than ever before. Nowadays, media is the at the forefront of our smartphones, and more often than not, traditional phone calls take a back seat in our daily lives. Many of us now make use of social media, messaging applications, and one to one video chats to keep in constant contact with one another.


Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Allo/Duo, FaceTime, Gmail, and Skype — these are all popular platforms and applications that we frequently use for communication in this current generation. We can do so much more with these services than a simple phone conversation can provide, which is understandable why many people opt out from using the phone altogether. An old-school phone call is quickly being replaced by these other more popular and cutting-edge forms of communication.

Is a Name Change Necessary?
Smartphones are probably the only devices in current times that have a redundant name that we label them as. Laptops? We still use them on our laps, which will probably never change. Smartwatches? They are watches that have smart capabilities, which is something that will never change either. Tablets? These devices will still and always will be big slab displays with a touchscreen. Desktop computers? They will always serve the purpose as big tower computers that sit on or around a desk environment. Smart speakers? They will always be speakers that have smart capabilities while outputting audio, nothing to change there.


After all the examples given, it is easy to understand why the smartphone name might have trouble staying relevant to what it truly represents in the future. This may be true, but it is highly unlikely a name change is something we should be concerned with — as long as the device does what it needs to do, the name does not matter very much. It is just interesting to know that the smartphone is a device with a name that does not entirely represent its specific actions in today’s society. Phones back then were only used for a single purpose — to make a phone call. Smartphones of today have a wide variety of more popular uses for any number of situations, but they also can make a phone call if required.

The Wrap-Up
Our current smartphones can be more accurately defined as multimedia mobile devices — calling them phones does not represent the number of uses they provide to us in the real world. Not using the “phone” part of a smartphone means we could need a new name for these devices in due time — but what name could that be? I could take a few guesses for myself, but we will have to sit back and see if anything happens on that front. It is probably not ideal to change the name of a device that has been around for so long, but times are changing — no one can predict the future!


When it comes to smartphones — we most likely will always have a use for the phone application in some form or another, especially for emergency situations. Using the phone may not be a favorite activity in today’s society, but it is there to use if we should ever need it. It will be interesting to see where the future of technology takes us with smartphones — we will continue to see these devices evolve with new features and age with us while we grow older together!

With the rise of more advanced communication methods — will the phone service continue to live on in our devices of the future? Will smartphones ever get or even need a new name later in life? Let us know in the comments your thoughts on the present and future of smartphones!

An expert in technology with a passion for writing. I like to write unique, entertaining, and educational posts about technology and a variety of other topics.

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