Are phones an anachronism?

100px-IPhone_2G_PSD_MockRecently I was having a discussion with a friend who is a very successful businessman, and he brought up the possibility of not replacing his smartphone. His logic was that all he was paying $200 a month (family plan costs) was the number. With something like an iPad mini and 3G he could emulate almost all the functionality of the phone at a smaller recurring cost. The logic here being that most of the calls with something like Skype would be done over wi-fi anyway (so not taxing a a data plan’s bandwidth limitations for 3G). As for texting services such as WhatsApp will probably replace standard SMS over the next few years.

Which brings us to the crux of why one should keep the phone: a traditional number. Yet internet services such as Skype have numbers too. So what’s stopping us? Inertia? I’m honestly wondering why I have a phone in terms of functionality, as opposed to the fact that everyone has a phone (I actually do most of my phone calls via Skype, often on my Kindle Fire, and sometimes on my phone’s wi-fi).

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