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  1. #1
    Eureka is offline Junior Member
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    Smile What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    Hi! guys. I'm wondering the use of two expressions "cell" vs. "mobile". I know that they are same in meaning and can use interchangeably. Is "mobile" close to British English? because I've never heard Americans say "mobile" (Don't criticize me, please if I'm wrong.)

    And I'm also curious whether or not English people say "cell" in there country. How about the ohter English speaking countries like Canada and Austrailia?

    Could you please let me know what is the difference in use?

    Thanks a million

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    You're right - mobile phone is British and Cell phone is American.

    In South Africa we say cell phone.

    What about mobile phone messages?

    In UK they are 'text messages'

    In South Africa they are 'SMS's'

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    The technology used by mobile phones (I use the Br Eng term - you're right to assume this is the difference; there's an episode of Friends in which they make fun of an English visitor who keeps saying 'on my mobile') is based on cells. So 'cell phone' is more meaningful; I can walk from room to room with my cordless phone - so why is that not 'mobile'?. It just isn't (in the UK).

    b

  4. #4
    thod00 is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    So 'cell phone' is more meaningful
    By which logic, since they are made of plastic they should be called 'plastics'.

    Few people know about the underlaying technology, nor are the cells truly cells in the classic sense. Mobile describes a quality and not a technology, although you can move a short distance on a land line it is not that mobile. Satellite phones are mobile phones but are not based on cells.

    Notebook computers are rarely used for notes and are not books. To some extent it is an arbitrary choice, and its not always the most defining quality that is chosen for new tech.

  5. #5
    icefloe is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    Just a guess:

    Maybe it's because the word cell alone means, ..., cell, biology. Then come cell as cpus, cell as cell batteries, cell as solar cells, etc.

    Or because some companies offer mobile phones which are not cell phones, they use a different system.
    Last edited by icefloe; 12-Feb-2009 at 14:28.

  6. #6
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefloe View Post
    Just a guess:

    Maybe it's because the word cell alone means, ..., cell, biology. Then come cell as cpus, cell as cell batteries, cell as solar cells, etc.

    Or because some companies offer mobile phones which are not cell phones, they use a different system.
    Proof of thod00's point that most people don't understand the underlying technology (though the intrusive "a" was painful to my ears): HowStuffWorks "How Cell Phones Work"

    b

  7. #7
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    And in Germany they call them a "Handy." I imagine that's because they are.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    The spelling!

  9. #9
    meskete is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    And in Germany they call them a "Handy." I imagine that's because they are.

    Yep, and lots of German speaking people think it's an English word, I mean "handy" for "mobile phone". Some of them were really surprised to learn they won't be understood saying "call me on my handy".

  10. #10
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between "cell phone" and "mobile phone"?

    There are cell[ular] phones and satellite phones. Both are mobile.

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