The other day a friend came to me saying their shiny new phone was doing strange things and asked me to take a look. Of course they pulled out an iPhone "Look it does this weird thing when I press here" they said. What they pressed was Safari, for those who aren't familiar with apple this is a web browser. My friend was shocked when I told them this and didn't believe that they could browse the web from a phone. All they wanted from a phone was the ability to make phone calls, funny that.
"So why did you get an iPhone if all you want to do is call your sister on it?" I asked, "Dunno....O2 just sent it to me, and all my friends have one..." they responded.
I don't think O2 sent an iPhone because it was the best phone for my friend more likely to tie them into a long contract. Apple claims to have sold over 10 million iPhones, that's 10 million 2 year contracts! O2 can make a lot of money if they convince people that to be cool all they need is an iPhone.
Evil corporate motives aside the question still remains, why buy a smartphone if all your doing is calling your sister on it? Smartphones can do so much and thanks to the iPhone shake up now have so much more potential than before. Personally I use a HTC Magic running the Android OS (Operating System) which means I carry around nearly everything I need in my pocket. From maps to email and calendars I can even make a phone call if I want. The point is I use all of the features it has to offer. Phones are so advanced that now when someone asks what phone they should get I give them the same response as if they were buying a computer "What do you want to do with it?".
If you want something for the office get a blackberry, If you want something for your travels and social life get Android, If you want to be with the 'cool' kids get an iPhone but you won't seem so cool scratching your head wondering why there is a web browser on your phone.