Is your cell phone a telephone or is it something else?
Recently my neighbor, Nancy and I were discussing cell phone technology. She said, “I don’t have service but I have an iPhone…” I was curious about how she could use the iPhone without having a cell phone service plan. Her son gave her an iPhone as a gift and included the iPhone on his plan but was forced to change service plans. His new provider didn’t support iPhones. Nancy is stuck with an expensive paper weight. …or is it something more?
While she might not have a cell service plan, Nancy still found a very useful purpose for her iPhone with no service. The iPod touch is very often described as an iPhone without the phone. Nancy reversed that logic, her iPhone was an iPod touch.
Nancy had already become familiar with the iPhone when the service was discontinued. She had started keeping her appointments and other obligations on her iPhone. You don’t need cell service to use the calendar. She also started keeping notes on the iPhone. It is a computer and does allow one to store notes.
One late night, while preparing to send an important email, my home Internet service failed. The telephone was dead too. Someone must have hit a phone pole and disrupted the telecom lines. How was I going to send that email? I could go to my office but it didn’t seem like a good idea to go out into the cold just to send an email. Was that email REALLY that important?
Time to think outside the box. Like every other techno type, I use a smart phone. Maybe it is old by today’s standard but that trusty old Blackberry did have network service forced on me by cell phone provider. That network service that didn’t seem like a good idea when I purchased the phone was going to get me out of trouble. Now, I needed that connection to the Internet.
Most smart phones allow you to use your phone’s network connection with your computer. The actual methods used by different phones and providers vary but the concept is to use the smart phone as a modem.
Technology is in a constant state of change. A new technology is discovered and people always find a use for it. That use might not have anything to do with original intention of the inventor. There are plenty of examples of something being invented for one purpose but being used for other purposes Viagra was originally intended to be used to raise low blood pressure. A side effect of that medication is responsible for the popularity of the drug today.