I don’t have a smartphone; I have a 3.5 inch tablet

I’m 11 days into my billing cycle this month on my iPhone, and the data about my usage really shows how I communicate and live my life has changed a lot over the past few years. These stats really popped out to me (multiply by about three to get my monthly usage):

  • 17 anytime minutes used.
  • 653.5 MBs of data used.
  • 75 text messages sent.

When you look at this data, it’s clear that I use my iPhone more as a mobile computing device than as a phone. It’s no more of a phone than my laptop with Skype is. I have a phone app that I use every now and then, but other applications — Safari, Facebook, Twitterific, Mail, Reeder, Instapaper, The Weather Channel, ESPN, etc — are much more used and important to my life.

I’m not some crazy outlier either. This usage is increasingly becoming normal among my age cohort and increasingly other age cohorts as well. Smartphones and text are exploding, but phone calls are fading:

According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.

Smartphones are changing the face of computing and of communication. I communicate with people all day long — Twitter, Facebook (almost all my family and friends are on this), text messages and email.

But when you put this all together, it seems to be that calling an iPhone or Android, Windows Phone 7, Palm OS, etc a phone — smart or not — is selling the devices short. The idea of a phone is fading away. These¬†touchscreen¬†tablet devices are able to make calls, yes, but they are able to do so much more.

And so when people say, “who needs a tablet,” I’ll tell them they probably already have and love one.