Sue Ellen from Jackson, Michigan writes:

Do you know if they make I-phones, those small hand held phones the other people use at work, the size of a tablet?  In other words does anyone make a tablet with a phone in it?  Do (can?) laptops come with a phone?

Sue Ellen that’s an interesting question.  Smartphones like an iPhone are actually small tablets that happen to have an app for making phone calls installed. What differentiates the phone from the tablet is a the SIM card. The SIM card is the subscriber identity module which allows your phone carrier to identify your device. The SIM card holds information like your phone number and billing information. It’s what allows you to make and receive phone calls using your phone number.

Large-sized phones are sometimes referred to as Phablets (phone/tablets).  Phablets run in the 5.5 to 6 inch range, just a little bit smaller than the standard 7 inch tablet. One example is Lumina 1320 which is a 6 inch Windows phone that will cost around $340 in addition to your phone plan.

Asus also made the 7 inch Fonepad. But that will set you back $400 plus dollars.

So far, super-sized phablet sales have not exactly caught fire. But the most popular phones do seem to be creeping up in screen size.

While your PC, Android tablet or iPad may not have a SIM card, you can still use messaging apps to send text messages and video chat with your friends.  An app like Skype will allow you to make free video and voice calls to anyone else on Skype and you can use Skype to call  land lines and cell phones for a fee. 

One difference between phones and tablets is that you can use our phone pretty much anywhere (assuming there’s cell service, but most places). For tablets you generally need available WiFi. Now, you do have the option of a mobile hotspot for a tablet and you can buy tablets that offer a 3G or 4G connection that you can use with your cell phone plan. 

A smartphone will perform the same functions as a tablet, though many people prefer the larger screen size of a tablet for things like watching movies, typing documents or reading eBooks. Most users choose to have both a phone for its pocket portability and tablet for the convenience of a slightly larger screen.

~ Cynthia