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Newt Gingrinch wants your help in renaming smartphones

Posted: , by Michael H.

Newt Gingrinch wants your help in renaming smartphones
Here's the story: Newt Gingrich has just noticed that the word "cellphone" doesn't adequately fit the products that we currently call "smartphones". It's confusing, we know. The problem is that in the entire video where Newt is asking the public to submit new names for smartphones, he never actually uses the term. He is clearly holding a smartphone (an iPhone 5 by the looks of it), but he refuses to acknowledge that a new word has come about to replace the term "cellphone". 

We are very torn about this story. On one hand, we don't really want to give credibility to Newt Gingrich as he attempts to cling to relevance, especially since there is no reason why he should be at the forefront of any technological issue (just look at the ridiculously large lapel microphone he's using in the video), even a semantic one. But on the other hand, we have a history of arguing semantics; and in fact, we have asked a very similar question about what the name of a smartphone will be in the future.

Of course, things don't usually get their names because one person asks the public for a new name. Names arise organically, evolving from past names, the convergence of various languages, and the changing use/function of the product. Gingrich has a good point that the potential use of a smartphone goes far, far beyond what the term implies, but that doesn't exactly mean it needs a new name. Every point he makes applies to computers as well, but we still use the term computer. We've just enhanced the scope of the word from its humble roots meaning "calculating machine".

What do you guys think? Do we need a new word for smartphones? If so, what would you want the name to be?

  • Options

posted on 12 May 2013, 22:14 3

1. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

No, he never said smartphone. He thinks it shouldn't be called a cellphone, we already have a name for what he is holding...it's a smartphone, specifically an iPhone. Also, Newt is vapid gasbag.

posted on 12 May 2013, 23:02 4

6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

You forgot the part about Newt being a douchebag. Gasbag only partly describes him.

posted on 12 May 2013, 23:51 2

11. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

Yes, I figured that was kind of implied though, by his inherent....condition. You are correct.

posted on 12 May 2013, 22:15

2. ZPM101 (Posts: 28; Member since: 12 Apr 2010)

I vote for "pragmatic interloper device". PID if you will =)

posted on 12 May 2013, 22:18 2

3. The Zune Lune (Posts: 41; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)

I think he is genuinely trying encourage continued progress. I think Phone Arena should interview him - I'd bet he would agree.

posted on 12 May 2013, 22:49 1

4. VLaRueC (Posts: 182; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)

From the tone PA used above, I'm not so sure they like Newt. I kind of liked the guy. He obviously wants everyone to "think" about renaming. Also, computer's have more than one name. Desktops, Laptops, Notebooks, Netbooks, etc....

posted on 12 May 2013, 23:50

10. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

You understand that those are all just different types of computers, right? Just like the smartphone is just a different type of phone, it's primary purpose is still to make phone calls and texts like the old cellphones.

posted on 13 May 2013, 00:43 1

14. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I'd argue that there are quite a lot of people (myself included) who would wholeheartedly disagree that the primary purpose of a smartphone is to make calls and texts. It's a vehicle to get me on the web, just like my laptop (computer), Chromebook (computer), and tablet.

Okay, maybe the tablet's primary purpose is reading, secondary is podcasts/music, and tertiary is the Internet, but it gets fuzzy because those first to purposes are highly dependent on the Internet.

posted on 13 May 2013, 01:33

18. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

I would suggest that 'smartphones' are the latest iteration along the continuum to a 'connected' lifestyle. First there was the notebook with a wireless modem. Then the smartphone came along, but the browser wasn't quite up to snuff for a number of reasons. Then tablets started to displace the notebooks with wireless modems. And now smartphones are starting to reclaim territory grabbed by the tablets (especially when you consider phablets like the Note II).

Kind of seems like a game of tennis, eh?

posted on 13 May 2013, 15:13

25. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

No, because if you took away its ability to make calls and texts, you'd have a small tablet. (Although tablets can still make voip calls and send texts, this certainly isn't their primary purpose.)

If a smartphone didn't have the ability to make calls or send texts, I would not get it. If it didn't have the ability to get on twitter, I wouldn't care nearly as much. Of course then it would just be a cellphone.


Just saying, we already have a word that perfectly describes what we have. And English is an organic language, you won't be changing the name of something just because you want to.

posted on 13 May 2013, 08:10

22. VLaRueC (Posts: 182; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)

So if one puts a cellular radio in a computer, it's no longer a computer? The point I am making its that an argument can be made that cell phones are also computers. A netbook is to ultra book as smartphone is to..... I think this if what Newt is getting at.

posted on 13 May 2013, 09:17

23. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Agreed, check comment #15 below

posted on 12 May 2013, 23:21

8. trexnkrumpets (Posts: 45; Member since: 15 Jan 2013)

Newt thanks! I prefer the smartphone name... manufacturer's fight to make theirs the smartest. A NewtPhone doesn't sound very appealing.

posted on 12 May 2013, 23:59 2

12. _V3n0M_ (Posts: 6; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

going to the basics (taken from wikipedia, Cellular Phone) >> "a cellphone/mobile phone/etc is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile phone operator, allowing access to the public telephone network."
Learn something before you open your mouth you retarded butthead Newt Gingrich. Even the "smart-phones" we use today operate on cellular network, thus they are cellphones! IF IT AINT BROKE, WHY FIX IT!!!?!?!?!?

posted on 13 May 2013, 00:48

15. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Does that mean that the new Asus Fonepad is also a cellphone?

Even the idea of a "public telephone network" is fading with the rise of VoIP, so does that mean any cellular-capable tablet with VoIP falls under the heading of a "smartphone"?

Semantics is a tricky thing. Granted, Newt should not be the voice of this debate, because he comes off more as uninformed than provoking discussion, but it is a discussion worth having.

posted on 13 May 2013, 18:48 1

26. _V3n0M_ (Posts: 6; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

While i see where you are coming from, i'm just saying that its a waste of time for people to be "deciphering" between what to call a device (dumb phone, smart phone, tablet phone, phablet, etc). the reason is, its still a cellphone (no need to complicate it).

just the same a motor-vehicle can be a car/minivan/suv/crossover/etc. or Desktops, laptops, tablet pc, etc are all still PC's (personal computer) the only difference is in their layout.

getting to VoIP, its "hybrid" system, but still works as a cellular phone, where there's a radio link that sends/receives signals to transmit voice over, just over IP protocol...

I'd have to agree with EspHack (post #17) because today's "smartphones" are exactly how he says mobile personal computers (MPC's)

posted on 13 May 2013, 01:03

16. HäckeMáte (Posts: 168; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


posted on 13 May 2013, 01:22 1

17. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)

yes i would call it "MPC" -mobile personal computer-, thats what it really is, "smartphone" is away too long word for something that we need to say/spell every day, and is not a good name neither

posted on 13 May 2013, 01:52

19. MartianMe (unregistered)

What is this fat pig from the 90's still doing on tv .....shouldn't he be dead by now.

posted on 13 May 2013, 02:34 1

20. rallyguy (Posts: 620; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)

I think you should call it 5 year old technology. It's not "something new and different".

posted on 13 May 2013, 04:55

21. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Smartphone. That's it. The cellphone has been replaced by the smartphone. This term has been around for quite a while, but this guy apparently was oblivious to it.

posted on 13 May 2013, 12:00

24. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 872; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)

What a surprise, a conservative guy makes some comments something to do with phones, and of course, the political bashing begins. You can thank him for that jerkoff Clinton having a balanced budget dumbasses.

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