Newt Gingrinch wants your help in renaming smartphones

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?


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25 Comments

1. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 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.

6. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

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

11. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

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

2. ZPM101

Posts: 36; Member since: Apr 12, 2010

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

3. The Zune Lune

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 09, 2008

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

4. VLaRueC

Posts: 189; Member since: Dec 18, 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....

10. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 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.

14. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 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.

18. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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?

25. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 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. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/smartphone 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.

22. VLaRueC

Posts: 189; Member since: Dec 18, 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.

23. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Agreed, check comment #15 below

8. trexnkrumpets

Posts: 45; Member since: Jan 15, 2013

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

12. _V3n0M_

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 24, 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!!!?!?!?!?

15. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 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.

26. _V3n0M_

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 24, 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)

16. HäckeMáte

Posts: 168; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

sci-wand

17. EspHack

Posts: 70; Member since: Sep 04, 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

19. MartianMe unregistered

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

20. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

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

21. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

24. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 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.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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