The term "media phone" usually refers to a cell phone that has multimedia functionality and also to a specific device that is to be used within the home. The latter is a multimedia broadband device with a screen of a width of 7 inches (17.8 cm) or larger. It is capable of performing many of the functions that a computer and a telephone do.
This latter type of "media phone" is a relatively new type of communication device. It harnesses the power and functionality of the computer and telephone. As a consequence, it is a device that is capable of providing telephone service along with Internet service. In addition to placing standard calls, users can enjoy the benefit of using the broadband service to check online for news and weather or to watch videos and listen to streaming audio, for example. Media phones tend to be bigger than the average cell phone, though, so they usually are operated using a touch pad or a stylus.
Typically, users can place calls through the device by way of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). A wireless handset can be included with the media phone to help facilitate calls. The device also can be used to browse the web, view photos, organize files, listen to music, send text messages and take pictures. Many of these functions are powered by a widget-based operating system.
Average consumers are attracted to media phones largely because of their added functionality. Owners of media phones can do much more on these types of phones than they would be able to do on phones that can only place calls. The popularity of social networking makes these devices especially attractive to those individuals who wish to remain connected to their peers without having to use a computer. Businesspeople also can find these devices to be advantageous in their daily work routines, because they offer features that potentially can help organize their lives and help them perform their job duties.
The implications of the media phone becoming a standard device are numerous. A media phone's high functionality and complementary nature to the personal computer, television and standard mobile handset make it a candidate for the widely acknowledged "fourth screen" designation. Should the media phone gain in popularity and become just as ubiquitous as the aforementioned devices, its position in the technology industry will be solidified, and the media phone could come to be viewed as a standard device.