The concept of a phone has gotten stale these days over in Apple land: Apple seems to think that anything larger than 5 X 2 inches is an iPad, and anything smaller an iPhone (or iPod).
An iPod is a miniature iPad of sorts, and so is an iPhone. But why can’t smaller and larger form factors be phones also, especially the larger form factors? There is no fundamental difference other than whether cellular support is included, and the iPad already offers that support.
But why is a phone restricted this way? I’m not saying that I want to hold an iPad up to my ear like a phone, but with corded earbuds and BlueTooth headsets and a high quality built-in speaker phone and docking stations (e.g., home office), it’s odd not to let an iPad also be a phone. The phone companies ought to love it: one more phone to charge for. Ideally, easy to change call forwarding would offer a virtual phone number, so that the regular phone could be transparently routed to an iPadPhone when desired.
To carry that futhere—iPhones keep improving, but there is nothing really truly new for years now. Reexamining the premises of what a phone is would make a lot of sense, as well as its shape and functions (and why not a “retro” mode setting where it is only a phone?). The conclusion might be that the only real boundaries are preconceived notions. There is definitely room for innovation in this market which includes size and shape and form factor, reduced feature set, and targeted usage scenarios. The current market is stagnant in its conceptual advances.
Maybe Apple is too busy designing spaceship-shaped buildings? Over-efforting for “public monument” buildings can sometimes presage decline for a company.