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 He argued that "smartphone" is an outdated label for the "iPhone-like" devices coming out and so he looked for a new one.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, e-mail, 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 cellphone with e-mail - an old BlackBerry, a Blackjack, maybe a Treo. This new category - somewhere between cellphones 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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