Why the new 'superphones' really are super
The word 'superphone' is an old marketing and headline gimmick, but this year's lineup of extreme phones has earned that moniker.
Computerworld - The word superphone has been used by marketers and journalists since the 1990s to convey the idea of a phone that far outshines the competition.
More than 10 years ago, for example, the Nokia 9210 was widely hailed as a superphone because it was more like a laptop than other phones. It was a clamshell device, opening up to reveal a keyboard and a color screen that were much bigger than those on other phones but much smaller than the ones on actual laptops.
Since the '90s, the superphone label has been used by marketers trying to set their products apart from the competition and by journalists grasping for a colorful word to express their excitement about a new phone or a new feature.
In other words, the word superphone never really meant anything. It was a word without a clear definition. As a result, it hasn't been taken up by the public.
The time has come for that to change. A new crop of phones really should be described as "superphones," and I'll tell you why.
A new definition for 'superphone'
We have come to accept that phones have features and functions that are inferior to other devices. Their processors are weaker than PC processors. Their camera electronics are inferior to the technology in real cameras. And their usage models are based on the idea that people will use them to do limited, scaled-down versions of what is possible on other devices.
We love our phones because they're mobile and multipurpose, not because they're more powerful or do something better than anything else out there.
But it may be that our understanding of the term super, as applied to phones, is flawed and should change.
Supercomputers are super not because they are pretty good for room-size machines, but because they can do things only supercomputers can do -- like predict future global weather patterns or beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy.
Superman is "super" not because his powers are pretty good for an alien, but because they exceed those of any human, alien or other superhero.
In order to qualify as a superphone, a smartphone should have key features that radically exceed not only those of other phones but also those of other consumer devices. It should be able to do things that even our PCs, laptops, digital cameras and other things can't do.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Delivering Enterprise Information Securely on tablets & smartphones
A technical how-to guide-updated for Android 4.2,iOS 6.1, and Windows
Phone and Surface 8
- Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software See why CommVault was positioned as the #1 leader in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery software for the 3rd year in...
- Forrester Report: CommVault is a Leader in Enterprise Backup and Recovery In this report, Forrester takes a deep dive into the evaluation criteria, how CommVault is positioned and the features and functionality that make...
- Forrester Wave for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Read this report to see how CommVault continues to outpace its competitors and why Forrester positioned CommVault Simpana as the top backup and...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Smartphones White Papers |