David Pogue: "Smartphone Is Too Limited...It's An App Phone"

Before David Pogue wrote his review of the Droid, he had trouble deciding what to call the device. He argued that "smartphone" is an outdated choice of word for the iPhone-like devices coming out and looked for a new one.

Our Jason Chen discussed this issue in the past and coined the term "com", but here's Pogue's take:

What should we call these iPhone-like, touch screen Wi-Fi phones with music and video, real web browsers, email, sensors (light, tilt, location, proximity), and above all, app stores? These machines can download thousands of free or cheap add-on programs — "apps" — and become GPS units, musical instruments and medical equipment.

"Smartphone" is too limited. A smartphone is a mobile phone with email — an old BlackBerry, a Blackjack, maybe a Treo. This new category — somewhere between mobile phones and laptops, or even beyond them — deserves a name of its own.

I invited suggestions on Twitter. The best came from @mentalworkout: "app phone". Bingo. Apps distinguish iPhonish phones from mere smartphones, so "app phones" it is.

I disagree with both Chen and Pogue and prefer to think of the gadgets as "Things I Can't Live Without", but what do you think they should be called? [NY Times]

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