Swiss Army phone


Swiss Army phone
n.
A cell phone that includes multiple non-voice features such as a digital camera, digital audio player, and electronic organizer.
Example Citations:
But there are signs that the true ''Swiss Army phone'' is finally ready to emerge. In the coming year, new offerings from Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are putting components together whose collective parts are not a wholesale list of compromises.
This next generation of hybrid phones will have cameras with up to 2 megapixels of resolution and music players offering up to 4 GB of storage — and it's all on one phone no bigger than an Apple iPod. Throw in a digital assistant, wireless Internet capabilities and a game or two and all you're missing is the tiny scissors.
— Ryan Kim, "Swiss Army phone' marching closer to reality," Chicago Sun-Times, July 6, 2005
I don't fiddle with mine much. I don't have high score on Snake, or download annoying ringtones — I've got a polyphonic version of "A Forest" by the Cure, but that's it. It could be a Swiss Army phone with a saw and a magnifying glass and a plastic toothpick that you wouldn't dream of using even if you had a whole pig between your teeth, but I wouldn't know. I'm not that into phones.
— Marcus Brigstocke, "Got the shakes in my texting thumb. Going mobile cold turkey is so hard'," The Independent (London), November 14, 2004
Earliest Citation:
We're here with [MTEL] Chief Executive Officer John Stupka and we do thank you for joining us today.
Peter Schacknow: ... I'd be likely to have a PCS phone. But if I needed messages, I would also have one of these devices most likely?
John Stupka: Yes, and again, I think the Swiss Army phone is not going to become a reality. People want a small, simple device for voice and people are going to want a small, simple device for their messaging.
— Peter Schacknow, "Interview of Mobile Telecommunications Technologies CEO," MSNBC, June 26, 1997
Notes:
It really wasn't all that long ago that cell phones did one thing and one thing only: handle voice calls. Now cell phones are being crammed with all kinds of "non-voice" features: a phone that also plays MP3s is called a music phone; a phone that has a built-in digital camera is a camera phone; a phone that includes PDA-like features — mobile operating system, organizer, e-mail, local storage, and so on — is called a smartphone. The latest phones come with not only MP3 players and cameras, but also built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, text messaging, memory card slots, and more. Such an everything-but-the-coffee-room-sink phone is called a hybrid phone or all-in-one phone, but Swiss army phone is my favorite.
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