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Are Tablets Making Phones Obsolete?

WIRED’s Mat Honan argues that recent advances in the way tablets foster communication should serve as a death knell for traditional phone plans.

WIRED’s Mat Honan has a pretty neat article up right now titled “Never Buy a Phone Again!” Honan notes that on the surface it sounds kind of silly, but he’s convinced that the death knell is ringing for phones:

“By the end of last year, it was fancy-ice clear that the distinction between phones and the other little touchscreen computers with over-the-air Internet connections had become blatantly artificial. The only reason we still have electronics with that Bell-ian name is so carriers can sell us a plan.”

He’s got a good point. At one time, a smartphone was a phone that did fun stuff on the side. Now, especially since the incorporation of LTE technology, smartphones have become small tablets that serve the ancillary function of letting you speak to another person through outdated technology.

“So is that a tablet in your pocket? Yes. LTE didn’t just change our phones into things that look like tablets; it also changed them into things that act like tablets. Older cell networks, even 3G, used dedicated connections to move your voice, just like a landline. But LTE turns your voice into data packets like the rest of Internet traffic. Until last year, carriers were mostly using older networks and technologies to carry voice calls, but now everything’s moving to voice over LTE, or VoLTE. It’s basically VoIP—like Skype.”

So basically, as Honan mentions later in the piece, the tablet and phone together are redundant technologies. He also goes on to explain how you could just ditch your smartphone (and thus ditch the expensive talk plan), get a tablet with LTE, and still be able to talk to your crazy grandma for hours while paying less than you were shelling out to T-Mobile or whomever.

It’s an interesting piece. Check it out (linked below) and let us know what you think.

Read more at WIRED

Photo credit: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock


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