Newt Gingrich, who is a former House speaker and was a 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is wanting to figure out a colloquial name for the cell phone in today’s modern age. He’s “really puzzled” about what these new contraptions are that run Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc., and he’s wanting your help with what to call these devices.
Gingrich says that most people would call these devices “cell phones,” but he’s not so sure. With all of the things that you can do with a modern handheld device, Gingrich thinks that “cell phone” is obsolete, and we need a new name for what Gingrich calls “handheld computers,” although he thinks that specific name is a bit “misleading,” since the real power of these devices is in the “networking” rather than its computational power.
Gingrich says that “if it can take pictures, then it’s not a cell phone.” He also lists off other examples, such as if it can access a McDonald’s app, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google, then it’s not a cell phone. So, if it’s not called a “cell phone” or a “handheld computer,” then what is it called? Gingrich wants your help.
However, as expected, many commenters have chimed in saying that “smartphone” has been the agreed-upon name for these devices for several years now, with some commenters stating that fact more nicely than others, but nonetheless, it looks like Gingrich will get his answer fairly easily, and no longer will he have to be puzzled by his iPhone that he holds up in the video.
According to ABC News, though, Gingrich’s press coordinator says that “smartphone” isn’t a viable naming option either, saying that such a device doesn’t offer “a smarter way to make phone calls.” He says that the term “smartphone” still refers to the device as a phone, which isn’t its main function anymore for the most part. Gingrich doesn’t mention “smartphone” in the video, which he probably should have, but either way, we’re not so sure that Gingrich will be able to get the general public to stop calling it a smartphone and call it something else. It’s a term that has been ingrained in users’ heads for too long.