A Short History Of The Smartphone

Modern technology moves fast and furious, especially when it comes to capabilities of the smartphone. Just what is a “smartphone”? Actually there are no agreed upon or exact definitions for the term. Most would agree however that smartphones do more – much more – than what Alexander Graham Bell first envisioned when he invented the original telephone back in the 1870s.

Definition

The smartphone differs from ordinary mobile phones in that they are capable of advanced functionality because they contain software applications that can be run directly from the phone itself. This software is typically open-source, an advantage that makes adding applications as easy as loading them onto the phone via wireless downloads. Today, these devices are not considered very “smart” unless they can accomodate a datebook/calendar, advanced internet connectivity, photography, music and even video capability.

Origins

IBM was the first to venture into the business of offering consumers a highly advanced mobile phone. In 1993, the company introduced what could be considered the world’s smartphone – simply called Simon. Considered low-end by today’s standard, this first smartphone featured an amazing array of features – email, address book, clock, calendar, note pad, and even the ability to send and receive faxes.

During the mid-90’s, Nokia began to heat things up by introducing its first line of smartphone – the Nokia 9000 series. This phone was not only the first in a series of popular smart phones manufactured by Nokia, they were also the most expensive, coming in at 20-40% more costly than its rivals. The Nokia 9210 was indeed the first real and true smartphone due to its open operating system.

Cutting Edge Smart Phones

The 21st century has spawned smartphones that are incredibly powerful and easy to use. Touch-screen functionality has become the norm and manufacturers such as Apple, Nokia and Research in Motion are furiously vying for the smartphone consumer and business dollar.

Apple changed the smartphone industry with its introduction of the Apple iPhone in 2007. Nokia has since countered with the unveiling of its Nokia XPress Music Phone in 2008. The Nokia 5800 is a touch-screen lovers dream that includes just about every feature a user would want. The handset even comes with millions of downloadable music tracks at no cost. Google recently joined the fray by introducing it Android phone during the same time period.

The Future

Could the smartphone get any smarter than it already is? Sure can! In the not so distant future, virtually everyone on earth will be carrying some type of smartphone – devices that will make today’s handsets pale in comparison. Increased bandwidth and speed will allow phones to be able to handle video in real-time with no problem. In the future, these mobile handsets will be indispensable to daily life, used for a wide array of functions, including consumer purchases, banking, real-time video connectivity, advanced GPS tracking, entertainment and much more.

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