Why Do We Use The Term Cellular Phone Instead of Mobile Phone?

Illustration for article titled Why Do We Use The Term Cellular Phone Instead of Mobile Phone?

If I asked you about your phone, would you call it a cell phone or a mobile phone? Does it really matter what you say or is one term more appropriate than the other?


The world cellular, as it describes phone technology, was used by engineers Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young at Bell Labs. They diagrammed a network of wireless towers into what they called a cellular layout. Cellular was the chosen term because each tower and its coverage map looked like a biological cell. Eventually, phones that operated on this type of wireless network were called cellular phones.

The term mobile phone predates its cellular counterpart. The first mobile phone call was placed in 1946 over Bell System's Mobile telephone service, a closed radiotelephone system. And the first commercial mobile phones were installed cars in the 1970s.


Eventually, the two names, mobile phone and cellular phone, became synonymous, especially here in the US. But some people disagree with that usage. They consider the term "cellular phone" to be a misnomer because the phone is not cellular, the network is. The phone is a mobile phone and it operates on a cellular network. So what do you think, is this just splitting hairs or do we need to be more careful about what we call our phones? [The Atlantic]

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First - American's do not speak English. We speak American, which is to English like Spanish is to being a Romance language. Massive difference and there is no such thing as an American butchering American English.

Second - Cell vs Mobile are both correct and very recognized no matter where you go, even if the destination typically prefers one over the other. So it's worse than splitting hairs, it's being absolutely anal retentive. So the folks who believe it must be one versus the other can go crawl down their people-hole-covers with the rest of their hu-mankind and use their portable-voice-over-waved-network-device to call someone who really gives a human-defecation.