A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone.[1] Smartphones and feature phones may be thought of as handheld computers integrated with a mobile telephone, but while most feature phones are able to run applications based on platforms such as Java ME,[2] a smartphone allows the user to run and multitask applications that are native to the underlying hardware. Smartphones run complete operating system software providing a platform for application developers.[3] Thus, they combine the functions of a camera phone and a personal digital assistant (PDA).

According to an Olswang report in early 2011, smartphones are experiencing accelerating rates of adoption: 22% of UK consumers already have a smartphone, with this percentage rising to 31% amongst 24-35 year olds.[4]

Growth in demand for advanced mobile devices boasting powerful processors, abundant memory, larger screens, and open operating systems has outpaced the rest of the mobile phone market for several years.[5] According to a study by ComScore, over 45.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones in 2010 out of 234 million total subscribers.[6] Despite the large increase in smartphone sales in the last few years, smartphone shipments only make up 20% of total handset shipments, as of the first half of 2010.[7] In March 2011 Berg Insight reported data that showed global smartphone shipments increased 74% from 2009 to 2010.[8]

* 1 History
o 1.1 Early years
o 1.2 Symbian, Palm, Windows and BlackBerry
o 1.3 Android and iPhone
o 1.4 Other application stores
* 2 Operating systems
* 3 Open source development
* 4 Screen
* 5 Popular Services
o 5.1 Location-based Check-in Services
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links

[edit] History
[edit] Early years

The first smartphone was the IBM Simon; it was designed in 1992 and shown as a concept product[9] that year at COMDEX, the computer industry trade show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was released to the public in 1993 and sold by BellSouth. Besides being a mobile phone, it also contained a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail, send and receive fax, and games. It had no physical buttons to dial with. Instead customers used a touchscreen to select telephone numbers with a finger or create facsimiles and memos with an optional stylus. Text was entered with a unique on-screen “predictive” keyboard. By today’s standards, the Simon would be a fairly low-end product, lacking for example the camera now considered usual. However, its feature set at the time was highly advanced.

The Nokia Communicator line was the first of Nokia’s smartphones starting with the Nokia 9000, released in 1996. This distinctive palmtop computer style smartphone was the result of a collaborative effort of an early successful and costly personal digital assistant (PDA) by Hewlett-Packard combined with Nokia’s bestselling phone around that time, and early prototype models had the two devices fixed via a hinge. The Nokia 9210 was the first color screen Communicator model which was the first true smartphone with an open operating system; the 9500 Communicator was also Nokia’s first cameraphone Communicator and Nokia’s first Wi-Fi phone. The 9300 Communicator was the third dimensional shift into a smaller form factor, and the latest E90 Communicator includes GPS. The Nokia Communicator model is remarkable for also having been the most costly phone model sold by a major brand for almost the full life of the model series, costing easily 20% and sometimes 40% more than the next most expensive smartphone by any major producer.

In 1997 the term ‘smartphone’ was used for the first time when Ericsson unveiled the concept phone GS88,[10][11] the first device labelled as ‘smartphone’.[12]
[edit] Symbian, Palm, Windows and BlackBerry

In 2000 the touchscreen Ericsson R380 Smartphone was released.[13] It was the first device marketed as a ‘smartphone’.[14] It combined the functions of a mobile phone and a personal digital assistant (PDA).[15] In December 1999 the magazine Popular Science appointed the Ericsson R380 Smartphone to one of the most important advances in science and technology.[16] It was a groundbreaking device since it was as small and light as a normal mobile phone.[17] It was the first device to use the new Symbian OS.[18] In 2002 it was followed up by P800, the first camera smartphone.[19]

In early 2001, Palm, Inc. introduced the Kyocera 6035, the first smartphone to be deployed in widespread use in the United States. This device combined the features of a personal digital assistant (PDA) with a wireless phone that operated on the Verizon Wireless network. For example, a user could select a name from the PDA contact list, and the device would dial that contact’s phone number. The device also supported limited web browsing.[20] The device received a very positive reception from technology publications.[21]

In 2001 Microsoft announced its Windows CE Pocket PC OS would be offered as “Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphone 2002.”[22] Microsoft originally defined its Windows Smartphone products as lacking a touchscreen and offering a lower screen resolution compared to its sibling Pocket PC devices.

In early 2002 Handspring released the Palm OS Treo smartphone, utilizing a full keyboard that combined wireless web browsing, email, calendar, and contact organizer with mobile third-party applications that could be downloaded or synced with a computer.[23]

In 2002 RIM released the first BlackBerry which was the first smartphone optimized for wireless email use and had achieved a total customer base of 32 million subscribers by December 2009.[24]

In 2007 Nokia launched the Nokia N95 which integrated a wide range of features into a consumer-oriented smartphone: GPS, a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and TV-out. In the next few years these features would become standard on high-end smartphones.

In 2010 Nokia released the Nokia N8 smartphone, the first device to use the new Symbian^3 OS.[25] It featured a camera that Mobile Burn described as the best camera in a phone,[26] and satellite navigation that Mobile Choice described as the best on any phone.[27]

In February 2011 Nokia announced a plan to make Microsoft Windows Phone 7 its high end smartphone operating system, reducing MeeGo to a research platform while still keeping Symbian for mid range and low range products.[28]
[edit] Android and iPhone
The original iPhone (2007)

In 2007, Apple Inc. introduced its first iPhone. It was initially costly, priced at $500 for the cheaper of two models on top of a two year contract. Initially lacking the capability to execute and multitask native applications, many reviewers considered originally released device to be more akin to a featurephone than a smartphone.[29] It was one of the first mobile phones to be mainly controlled through a touchscreen, the others being the LG Prada and the HTC Touch (also released in 2007). It was the first mobile phone to use a multi-touch interface, and it featured a web browser that Ars Technica then described as “far superior” to anything offered by that of its competitors.[30] A process called jailbreaking emerged quickly to provide unofficial third-party applications. Steve Jobs publicly stated that the iPhone lacked 3G support due to the immaturity, power use, and physical size requirements of 3G chipsets at the time.[31]
Quantity Market Shares by Gartner (in one year)
(New Sales)
BRAND Percent
Symbian 2009

Symbian 2010

Android 2009

Android 2010

RIM 2009

RIM 2010

iPhone 2009

iPhone 2010

Microsoft 2009

Microsoft 2010

Other OS 2009

Other OS 2010

Notes: The table is for a whole year. In one year RIM is still above iPhone. Other OS in the table includes Linux.

In July 2008, Apple introduced its second generation iPhone with a lower list price and 3G support. Released with it, Apple also created the App Store with both free and paid applications. The App Store can deliver applications developed by third parties directly to the iPhone or iPod Touch over Wi-Fi or cellular network without using a PC to download. With the introduction of the App Store, the iPhone gained one of the two key smartphone features that it lacked: the capability to install and execute native applications. The App Store has been a huge success for Apple and by April 2010 hosted more than 185,000 applications.[citation needed] The App Store hit three billion application downloads in early January 2010,[32] and 10 billion by January 2011.[33] In June of 2010, Apple introduced multitasking capability to iOS. [34]
Android logo

The Android operating system for smartphones was released in 2008. Android is an open source platform backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers (such as Intel, HTC, ARM, Motorola and Samsung, to name a few), that form the Open Handset Alliance.[35] The first phone to use Android was the HTC Dream, branded for distribution by T-Mobile as the G1. The software suite included on the phone consists of integration with Google’s proprietary applications, such as Maps, Calendar, and Gmail, and a full HTML web browser. Android supports the execution of native applications and a preemptive multitasking capability (in the form of services). Third-party apps are available via the Android Market (released October 2008), including both free and paid apps.

In January 2010, Google launched the Nexus One smartphone using its Android OS. Although Android has multi-touch abilities, Google initially removed that feature from the Nexus One,[36] but it was added through a firmware update on February 2, 2010.[37]

According to Gartner in their report dated November 2010, total smartphone sales doubled in one year and now smartphones represent 19.3 percent of total mobile phone sales. Over late 2009 and 2010 Android’s smartphone market share increased very rapidly.[38]

Smartphone sales increased in 2010 by 72.1 percent from the prior year, whereas sales for all mobile phones only increased by 31.8 percent. Smartphones make up 19 percent of all mobile phones.[39][40]

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Android surpassed Symbian as the most common operating system in smartphones, with 32.9 million units sold versus 31.0 million. Android-equipped phones sold seven times more than in the prior year due to customers’ increased preference for a device that can access websites while bypassing traditional computers.[41] According to Canalys, Google, which offers its software to phone makers for free, has raced to the top of the smartphone market and also surpassing Apple iPhone. In Q1 2011 Google Android market shares was 35 percent and increased significantly from 10 percent last year, while Nokia Symbian dropped to 26 percent from 46 percent last year.[42]

Concerning the Xperia Play smartphone, an analyst at CCS Insight said in March 2011 that “Console wars are moving to the mobile platform”.[43] In the same month, an Android high-end smartphone which can produce 3D effects with no need for special glasses (autostereoscopy) was announced by LG Electronics.[44]
[edit] Other application stores

Platforms other than the iPhone are able to download apps from any website, rather than only from a single app store; however, other companies have more recently launched their own app stores. Google launched the Android Market in October 2008. RIM launched its app store, BlackBerry App World, in April 2009. Nokia launched its Ovi Store in May 2009. Palm launched its Palm App Catalog in June 2009. Microsoft launched its Windows Marketplace for Mobile in October 2009. Amazon launched its Android Appstore in early 2011. Samsung launched Samsung Apps for its bada based phones.
[edit] Operating systems
Share of worldwide 2010 Q4 smartphone sales to end users by operating system, according to Canalys.[45] A different analysis of 2010 Q4 sales by Gartner puts total Symbian phone sales slightly ahead of Android.[46]
Main article: Mobile operating system

2010 saw the rapid rise of the Google Android operating system from 4 percent of new deployments in 2009 to 33 percent at the beginning of 2011 making it share the top position with the since long dominating Symbian OS. The smaller rivals include US popular Blackberry OS, the trendsetting iOS, Samsung’s recently introduced bada, HP’s heir of Palm Pilot webOS and the Microsoft Windows Phone OS seeing a possible revival through an alliance with Nokia.
[edit] Open source development

The open source culture has penetrated the smartphone market in several ways. There have been attempts to open source both hardware and software of smartphones. One prominent project from open hardware development is the Neo FreeRunner smartphone developed by Openmoko.

In February 2010 Nokia made Symbian open source. Thus, most commercial smartphones were based on open source operating systems. These include GNU/Linux based, such as Google’s Android, Nokia’s Maemo which was later merged with Intel’s project Moblin to form MeeGo, Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS, and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) based, such as the Darwin-based Apple iOS.[47][48]
[edit] Screen
This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2011)

Screens on smartphones vary largely in both size and display resolution. Screen sizes range from 2 inches to 4.5 inches (measured diagonally), while resolutions vary from 240×320 to 640×960; a common resolution for smartphones is 480×800.[49]

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