It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been referring to my cell phone as “my Nexus One.” Nexus One is the model of this phone, which was designed by Google and manufactured by HTC. What I mean by this is I say it in conversation, like “I’ll send that to you from my Nexus One” or “I can look that up on my Nexus One”. A lot people call it a Droid phone, and in fact seem to be calling all Android-based phones Droids. That’s a nod to the successful marketing by Verizon and Motorola of the actual phone called the Droid.
iPhone users tend to call their phones, “iPhones” as opposed to just “phones” also. I remember this also being that case with the T-Mobile Sidekick. At first I thought this must have started because these devices are so much more than phones. It almost seems insulting call my Nexus One a phone. As phones go, the N1 one is great. It’s an excellent GSM device with a really nifty set of noise canceling microphones. (The fact that the iPhone is generally considered to be a terrible phone may have also contributed to people not referring to it as a phone.) But as with the iPhone and Sidekick, it’s so much more. Calling it a phone would be like calling my house a bed. I have an excellent bed, a Temperpedic, but that hardly sums up the value of my house.
But then I realized that while that may have contributed, that’s probably not how this started. It started with the Blackberry. People have always said, “I saw your email on my Blackberry.” But it’s not because the Blackberry did so much more that make phone calls – it’s because the Blackberry did not make phone calls at all. For many years – nearly a decade – Blackberry users also carried cell phones. You had to call your Blackberry a Blackberry, because there was nothing else to call it.