With Awful "Fonblets," Samsung Makes Us Want To Rename Phones Entirely

A PR gaff by Samsung does make us think, though. Can we retire the word "phone" now?

In a set of presentation slides for investors, Samsung makes specific mention of the class of device its Galaxy Note 3 fits into. It's not a phone. It's not a tablet. It's also not a phablet. It is, Samsung wants you to know, part of a new market the company has created. It is a "fonblet."

Nicely done Samsung. Your PR persons have got the Internet talking about you, and there's no such thing as bad PR, eh?

Except, yes. In this case, this is terrible. We agree your giant-screened mobile devices are selling quite well. You may even have started a very low-tech trend for bigger smartphones. But you gave us "phablet" to describe devices like the Note, which were more phone-ish than full-on tablets, possibly violating the Geneva Convention by torturing the language so badly. And now "fonblet." It sounds like something that dribbles out of one's nose during a really bad sinus infection instead of mobile computing. It's not going to win you market share against the formidable, simply-named "iPhone."

Can we all agree that a smallish device that lets you make traditional phone calls is simply a "phone" and a larger device better suited for creating and watching content is a "tablet"?

But ... Well, there has been truly amazing growth in global smartphone adoption, and making phone calls is very much the last thing for which they're being adopted. So maybe we should retire the word "phone" altogether. It's just a question of dreaming up the right replacement.

[Image: Flickr user tktktk]

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