Ah - but listen to your intonation when you say "smart phone" - the stress is on "smart" not "phone". That stress is different to if you were answering the question "is that phone a dumb phone or smart phone?". Yes, etymologically-speaking, a smart phone is a phone that is smart, but language moves on: a smart phone is a kind of phone (which happens to be smart amongst other things like running iOS or Android, having a touch screen etc).
(I'm making the assumption that the stress in American English is the same as in the British English I speak. That isn't always the case - American's say "chinese food", for example, with stress on "chinese" not "food", which to my British ears sounds like thy're answering a question, eg "would you like chinese or indian food?").
Yes, market categorization by technology, price points, OS and network capability. In the early years of advanced mobile phones, the adjective "smart" may have been descriptive, but today it is far more relevant to ask if a phone is Android, iOS, Windows, etc., whether it is 3G or LTE, whether it can multitask, and how much it costs.
The point I made earlier in my blog entitled "Time to Rethink Featre Phone?" ( http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1318970 ) wasn't about th comeback of feature phones, but I wish handset makers would think about it...rather than pumping out indistinguishable Android-based smartphones.
Susan, the price of smartphones has been already coming down quite a bit, if you take a global view. Thanks to Android, commoditization of smartphones is happening and that's precisely what this market data shows.
Dylan, no, unfortunately feature phones aren't coming back. That said, low-end smartphones today aren't that different from high-end feature phones, except for the fact feature phones don't use Android OS.
In that regards, I do agree that the whole distinction of "smartphones" and "feature phones" is dumb. It is no longer relevant as another thread in the message board shows.
Maybe the price will go down more when more "free" open-source operating systems are used. It must cut development costs and time to market quite a bit. How competitive does use of Android/open source make a smartphone?
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.