VoIP on Smartphones Redefines their Functionality
Evolution of Smartphones
Smartphones burst onto the scene with a special promise - you can use a phone for much more than just making calls. Over the years, this mindset hasn't changed. Calling is still the "killer application" for the overwhelming majority of people. Smartphones themselves are sold mostly through carriers underlining this close relationship. But as usual, technology has gone far beyond what people are comfortable with. We're living in an age where most people don't make use of all that a smartphone has to offer. VoIP is just one example of such functionality.
With each iteration of the smartphone, they're coming closer and closer to the PC model. They're like a platform on which all the other services reside. The marketplace for Android and the AppStore for Apple is a testament to the enduring versatility of these devices.
It's only a matter of time before people realize that a smartphone need not be viewed as a "phone" but as a mini computer. It's no secret that applications like email and chat are the "killer" applications of the Internet. Search and social services can also make that claim. These are intruding on to the domain of phones which once used to dominate calling devices.
VoIP Redefines the Smartphone
As the poster boy of the fusion between the two worlds, VoIP is in a unique position to lead the transition from the smartphone to the "mini PC." People are slowly starting to realize that one need not communicate solely through the portals provided by the telecom companies. In fact, they need not even have to pay for such services at all!
There are many ways to use VoIP. Skype, Google Chat, or a specific configuration with an SIP provider provide a range of flexible options for using the Internet for communication. While so far the wireless Internet connectivity of phones and tablets haven't proved to be quite reliable enough for seamless VoIP calling, 4G will change all of that. Moreover, wifi networks are in abundance and are already used by the vast majority of VoIP applications, serving to sever the last links between phones and the carriers. Well, almost... The true remaining link is the telephone number itself.
Already people in different parts of the country and the world are revising their paradigms of what a smartphone is. Mobile phone VoIP servers are now the connection gateways to the outside world. Secure business VoIP providers or ITSPs will be holding the keys to the new age of communications.