Research by UK mobile network O2 shows that making phone calls is only fifth on the list of things for which we use our smartphones. Browsing, social networking, photography, all are more popular than phoning your friends.
This doesn’t surprise me in the least. In fact, voice communication is now definitely a minority activity and calls brings into question the continued use of the word smartphone.
Our phones are now mini-computers and deserve a more all-encompassing description. O2 suggest we use “Best Buds”. If this is all they can come up with, then beam me up Scotty.
As usual, a name will come from common usage and it won’t be something we can just dream up. It’s probably out there already. Talk to a German, for instance, and he will show you his Handy. In many ways, this English-sounding but totally alien description is actually very appropriate. That’s what our smartphones have become: they are Handies. Time to bring the Deutschlisch word back into English.