Smartphones are a class of mobile phones and of multi-purpose mobile computing devices. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet (including web browsing over mobile broadband), and multimedia functionality (including music, video, cameras, and gaming), alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically include various sensors that can be leveraged by their software, such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer, and support wireless communications protocols such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and satellite navigation.
Early smartphones were marketed primarily towards the enterprise market, attempting to bridge the functionality of standalone personal digital assistant (PDA) devices with support for cellular telephony, but were limited by their battery life, bulky form, and the immaturity of wireless data services. In the 2000s, BlackBerry, Nokia's Symbian platform, and Windows Mobile began to gain market traction, with models often featuring QWERTY keyboards or resistive touchscreen input, and emphasizing access to push email and wireless internet. Since the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007, the majority of smartphones have featured thin, slate-like form factors, with large, capacitive screens with support for multi-touch gestures rather than physical keyboards, and offer the ability for users to download or purchase additional applications from a centralized store, and use cloud storage and synchronization, virtual assistants, as well as mobile payment services.
Improved hardware and faster wireless communication (due to standards such as LTE) have bolstered the growth of the smartphone industry. In the third quarter of 2012, one billion smartphones were in use worldwide. Global smartphone sales surpassed the sales figures for feature phones in early 2013.
The first commercially available device that could be properly referred to as a "smartphone" began as a prototype called "Angler" developed by Frank Canova in 1992 while at IBM and demonstrated in November of that year at the COMDEX computer industry trade show. A refined version was marketed to consumers in 1994 by BellSouth under the name Simon Personal Communicator. In addition to placing and receiving cellular calls, the touchscreen-equipped Simon could send and receive faxes and emails. It included an address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, calculator, world time clock, and notepad, as well as other visionary mobile applications such as maps, stock reports and news. The term "smart phone" or "smartphone" was not coined until a year after the introduction of the Simon, appearing in print as early as 1995, describing AT&T's PhoneWriter Communicator.
Beginning in the mid-late 1990s, many people who had mobile phones carried a separate dedicated PDA device, running early versions of operating systems such as Palm OS, Newton OS, Symbian or Windows CE/Pocket PC. These operating systems would later evolve into early mobile operating systems. Most of the "smartphones" in this era were hybrid devices that combined these existing familiar PDA OSes with basic phone hardware. The results were devices that were bulkier than either dedicated mobile phones or PDAs, but allowed a limited amount of cellular Internet access. The trend at the time, however, that manufacturers competed on in both mobile phones and PDAs was to make devices smaller and slimmer. The bulk of these smartphones combined with their high cost and expensive data plans, plus other drawbacks such as expansion limitations and decreased battery life compared to separate standalone devices, generally limited their popularity to "early adopters" and business users who needed portable connectivity.
In March 1996, Hewlett-Packard released the OmniGo 700LX, a modified HP 200LX palmtop PC with a Nokia 2110 mobile phone piggybacked onto it and ROM-based software to support it. It had a 640×200 resolution CGA compatible four-shade gray-scale LCD screen and could be used to place and receive calls, and to create and receive text messages, emails and faxes. It was also 100% DOS 5.0 compatible, allowing it to run thousands of existing software titles, including early versions of Windows.
In August 1996, Nokia released the Nokia 9000 Communicator, a digital cellular PDA based on the Nokia 2110 with an integrated system based on the PEN/GEOS 3.0 operating system from Geoworks. The two components were attached by a hinge in what became known as a clamshell design, with the display above and a physical QWERTY keyboard below. The PDA provided e-mail; calendar, address book, calculator and notebook applications; text-based Web browsing; and could send and receive faxes. When closed, the device could be used as a digital cellular telephone.
Subsequent landmark devices included:
In 1999, Japanese wireless provider NTT DoCoMo launched i-mode, a new mobile internet platform which provided data transmission speeds up to 9.6 kilobits per second, and access web services available through the platform such as online shopping. NTT DoCoMo's i-mode used cHTML, a language which restricted some aspects of traditional HTML in favor of increasing data speed for the devices. Limited functionality, small screens and limited bandwidth allowed for phones to use the slower data speeds available. The rise of i-mode helped NTT DoCoMo accumulate an estimated 40 million subscribers by the end of 2001, and ranked first in market capitalization in Japan and second globally. This power would later wane in the face of the rise of 3G and new phones with advanced wireless network capabilities. Japanese cell phones increasingly diverged from global standards and trends to offer other forms of advanced services and functionality, such as mobile payments, near-field communication (NFC), and 1seg mobile television.
Smartphones were still rare outside Japan until the introduction of the Danger Hiptop in 2002, which saw moderate success among U.S. consumers as the T-Mobile Sidekick. Later, in the mid-2000s, business users in the U.S. started to adopt devices based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile, and then BlackBerry smartphones from Research In Motion. American users popularized the term "CrackBerry" in 2006 due to the BlackBerry's addictive nature.
Outside the U.S. and Japan, Nokia was seeing success with its smartphones based on Symbian, originally developed by Psion for their personal organisers, and it was the most popular smartphone OS in Europe during the middle to late 2000s. Initially, Nokia's Symbian smartphones were focused on business with the Eseries, similar to Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices at the time. From 2006 onwards, Nokia started producing consumer-focused smartphones, popularized by the entertainment-focused Nseries. Until 2010, Symbian was the world's most widely used smartphone operating system.
In the 2000s, it was common for smartphones to have a physical T9 numeric keypad or QWERTY keyboard in either a candybar or sliding form factor. Some smartphones had resistive touchscreens, which allowed for virtual keyboards and handwriting input with a finger or a stylus, thus also allowing easy entry of Asian characters.
In 2007, the LG Prada was the first mobile phone released with a large capacitive touchscreen. Later that year, Apple Computer introduced the iPhone. The iPhone was also designed around a large capacitive touchscreen, but added support for multi-touch gestures (for interactions such as "pinching" to zoom in and out on photos and web pages). Such phones were notable for abandoning the use of a stylus, keyboard, or keypad typical for smartphones at the time, in favor of a capacitive touchscreen for direct finger input as its only input type. The invention of the touchscreen smartphone is often attributed to Apple, but they actually made the smartphone as we know it today something mainstream due to the company's popularity in the US (and to a lesser extent worldwide) and they made popular the way that people interact with smartphones. Following the iPhone's success despite its original retail price of over US$500, other smartphone manufacturers started to use the same basic design of the iPhone.
The iPhone was "not a smartphone by conventional terms, being that a smartphone is a platform device that allows software to be installed", until the opening of Apple's App Store a year later, which became a common means for smartphone software distribution and installation. The first iPhone also faced criticism for not supporting the latest 3G wireless network standards, but was praised for its hardware and software design, and its June 2007 release was met with heavy demand, with customers waiting in lines outside Apple Store locations to be among the first to purchase it.
The screen-focused hardware of phones centered around a capacitive touchscreen stimulated the software to focus on features such as a web browser designed to render full web pages (as opposed to stripped down WAP services), multimedia functionality (such as music and videos), and online services such as maps apps. This, along with the iPhone's appraisal and Apple's popularity and influence, was a key factor in the initial success of the iPhone.
The advantages of a design around a capacitive touchscreen affected the development of another smartphone OS platform, Android (and later Blackberry 10), with a more BlackBerry-like prototype device scrapped in favor of a touchscreen device with a slide-out physical keyboard, as Google's engineers thought at the time that a touchscreen could not completely replace a physical keyboard and buttons. The first Android device, the HTC Dream, was released in September 2008. Although Android's adoption was relatively slow at first, it started gaining widespread popularity in 2010, largely due to its functionality at a low price, and in early 2012 dominated the smartphone market share worldwide, which continues to this day. Android is based around a modified Linux kernel, which makes Linux the most widely used operating system worldwide, and it also makes Android the most widely used general purpose operating system worldwide. Apple's iPhones are more widespread in rich, developed countries than in relatively poor and developing countries, where having an iPhone or a high end Android smartphone is considered a luxury.
Android and iPhone devices popularized the smartphone form factor based on a large capacitive touchscreen, and led to the decline of earlier, keyboard- and keypad-focused platforms. Microsoft, for instance, discontinued Windows Mobile and started a new touchscreen-oriented OS from scratch, called Windows Phone. Nokia abandoned Symbian and partnered with Microsoft to use Windows Phone on its smartphones. Windows Phone became the third-most-popular smartphone OS, before being replaced by Windows 10 Mobile, which declined in share to become "largely irrelevant" at less than 0.5% of the smartphone market. Palm replaced their Palm OS with webOS. BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion, made a new platform based on QNX, BlackBerry 10, with which it was possible to control a device without having to press any physical buttons; this platform was later discontinued.
By the mid-2010s, almost all smartphones were touchscreen-only, and Android and iPhone smartphones dominated the market, with Android being more popular in developing countries, and the iPhone being more popular in developed, rich countries.
In the early 2010s, larger smartphones with screen sizes of at least 5.5 inches diagonal, dubbed "phablets" , began to achieve popularity, with Samsung's Galaxy Note series gaining notably wide adoption. Phablets have become the industry standard, with many companies abandoning smaller, 4-inch displays, except in their cheapest models.
In 2013, Fairphone launched its first "socially ethical" smartphone at the London Design Festival to address concerns regarding the sourcing of materials in the manufacturing followed by Shiftphone in 2015. In late 2013, QSAlpha commenced production of a smartphone designed entirely around security, encryption and identity protection. Some companies began to release smartphones incorporating flexible displays to create curved form factors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex.
In October 2013, Motorola Mobility announced Project Ara, a concept for a modular smartphone platform that would allow users to customize and upgrade their phones with add-on modules that attached magnetically to a frame. Ara was retained by Google following its sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, but was shelved in 2016. That year, LG and Motorola both unveiled smartphones featuring a limited form of modularity for accessories; the LG G5 allowed accessories to be installed via the removal of its battery compartment, while the Moto Z utilizes accessories attached magnetically to the rear of the device.
The first smartphone with a fingerprint reader was the Motorola Atrix 4G in 2011. In September 2013, the iPhone 5S was unveiled as the first smartphone on a major U.S. carrier since the Atrix to feature this technology.
By 2014, 1440p displays began to appear on high-end smartphones. In 2015, Sony released the Xperia Z5 Premium, featuring a 4K resolution display, although only images and videos could actually be rendered at that resolution (all other software is upscaled from 1080p). Microsoft, expanding upon the concept of Motorola's short-lived "Webtop", unveiled functionality for its Windows 10 operating system for phones that allows supported devices to be docked for use with a PC-styled desktop environment. Other major technologies began to trend in 2016, including a focus on virtual reality and augmented reality experiences catered towards smartphones, the newly introduced USB-C connector, and improving LTE technologies. As of 2015, the global median for smartphone ownership was 43%. Statista forecast that 2.87 billion people would own smartphones in 2020.
New trends for smartphone displays began to emerge in 2017, with both LG and Samsung releasing flagship smartphones utilizing displays with taller aspect ratios than the common 16:9 ratio. These designs allow the display to have a larger diameter, but with a slimmer width than 16:9 displays with an equivalent screen size. Another trend popularized that year were designs—colloquially known as a "notch"—where the front-facing camera, and sometimes other sensors typically located along the top bezel of a device, are contained into a tab-like area at the top of the device that the display wraps around. These designs allow for "edge-to-edge" displays that take up nearly the entire height of the device, with little to no bezel along the top. This design characteristic was popularized by the Essential Phone (which featured a circular tab for its camera) and iPhone X (which used a wider tab to contain a camera and facial scanning system). In 2018, the first smartphones featuring fingerprint readers embedded within OLED displays were announced, followed in 2019 by an implementation using an ultrasonic sensor.
Smartphones with foldable displays were theorized as possible once manufacturing costs and production processes were feasible. In November 2018, the startup company Royole unveiled the first commercially available foldable smartphone, the Royole FlexPai. Also that month, Samsung presented a prototype phone featuring an "Infinity Flex Display" at its developers conference, with a smaller, outer display on its "cover", and a larger, tablet-sized display when opened. Samsung stated that it also had to develop a new polymer material to coat the display as opposed to glass. Early examples of foldable phones from other manufacturers became the subject of rumors in early 2019; Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Fold, based on the previously-demonstrated prototype, in February 2019 for a release in late-April.
Smartphones have central processing units (CPUs), similar to those in computers, but optimised to operate in low power environments.
The performance of mobile CPU depends not only on the clock rate (generally given in multiples of hertz) but also on the memory hierarchy. Because of these challenges, the performance of mobile phone CPUs is often more appropriately given by scores derived from various standardized tests to measure the real effective performance in commonly used applications.
One of the main characteristics of smartphones is the screen. Depending on the device's design, the screen fills most or nearly all of the space on a device's front surface. Many smartphone displays have an aspect ratio of 16:9, but taller aspect ratios became more common in 2017.
Screen sizes are measured in diagonal inches. Phones with screens larger than 5.2 inches are often called "phablets". Smartphones with screens over 4.5 inches in size are commonly difficult to use with only a single hand, since most thumbs cannot reach the entire screen surface; they may need to be shifted around in the hand, held in one hand and manipulated by the other, or used in place with both hands. Due to design advances, some modern smartphones with large screen sizes and "edge-to-edge" designs have compact builds that improve their ergonomics, while the shift to taller aspect ratios have resulted in phones that have larger screen sizes whilst maintaining the ergonomics associated with smaller 16:9 displays.
Liquid-crystal displays are the most common; others are IPS, LED, OLED, and AMOLED displays. Some displays are integrated with pressure-sensitive digitizers, such as those developed by Wacom and Samsung, and Apple's Force Touch system.
Some audio quality enhancing features, such as Voice over LTE and HD Voice have appeared and are often available on newer smartphones. Sound quality can remain a problem due to the design of the phone, the quality of the cellular network and compression algorithms used in long distance calls. Audio quality can be improved using a VoIP application over WiFi. Cellphones have small speakers so that the user can use a speakerphone feature and talk to a person on the phone without holding it to their ear. The small speakers can also be used to listen to digital audio files of music or speech or watch videos with an audio component, without holding the phone close to the ear.
By the end of 2017, smartphone battery life has become generally adequate; however, earlier smartphone battery life was poor due to the weak batteries that could not handle the significant power requirements of the smartphones' computer systems and color screens.
Smartphone users purchase additional chargers for use outside the home, at work, and in cars and by buying portable external "battery packs". External battery packs include generic models which are connected to the smartphone with a cable, and custom-made models that "piggyback" onto a smartphone's case. In 2016, Samsung had to recall millions of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to an explosive battery issue. For consumer convenience, wireless charging stations have been introduced in some hotels, bars, and other public spaces.
A wide range of accessories are sold for smartphones, including cases, screen protectors, power charging cables, wireless power stations, USB On-The-Go adapters (for connecting USB drives and or, in some cases, a HDMI cable to an external monitor), add-on batteries, headphones, combined headphone-microphones (which, for example, allow a person to privately conduct calls on the device without holding it to the ear), and Bluetooth-enabled powered speakers that enable users to listen to media from their smartphones wirelessly.
Cases range from relatively inexpensive rubber or soft plastic cases which provide moderate protection from bumps and good protection from scratches to more expensive, heavy-duty cases that combine a rubber padding with a hard outer shell. Some cases have a "book"-like form, with a cover that the user opens to use the device; when the cover is closed, it protects the screen. Some "book"-like cases have additional pockets for credit cards, thus enabling people to use them as wallets.
Accessories include products sold by the manufacturer of the smartphone and compatible products made by other manufacturers.
Mobile operating systems combine features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use; usually including, and most of the following considered essential in modern mobile systems; a touchscreen, cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Protected Access, Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS) mobile navigation, video- and single-frame picture cameras, speech recognition, voice recorder, music player, near field communication, and infrared blaster. By Q1 2018, over 383 million smartphones were sold with 85.9 percent running Android, 14.1 percent running iOS and a negligible number of smartphones running other OSes. Android alone is more popular than the popular desktop operating system Windows, and in general smartphone use (even without tablets) exceeds desktop use.
Mobile devices with mobile communications abilities (e.g., smartphones) contain two mobile operating systems – the main user-facing software platform is supplemented by a second low-level proprietary real-time operating system which operates the radio and other hardware. Research has shown that these low-level systems may contain a range of security vulnerabilities permitting malicious base stations to gain high levels of control over the mobile device.
A mobile app is a computer program designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone. The term "app" is a short-form of the term "software application".
The introduction of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July 2008 popularized manufacturer-hosted online distribution for third-party applications (software and computer programs) focused on a single platform. There are a huge variety of apps, including video games, music products and business tools. Up until that point, smartphone application distribution depended on third-party sources providing applications for multiple platforms, such as GetJar, Handango, Handmark, and PocketGear. Following the success of the App Store, other smartphone manufacturers launched application stores, such as Google's Android Market (later renamed to the Google Play Store) and RIM's BlackBerry App World and Android-related app stores like F-Droid. In February 2014, 93% of mobile developers were targeting smartphones first for mobile app development.
Since 1996, smartphone shipments have had positive growth. In November 2011, 27% of all photographs created were taken with camera-equipped smartphones. In September 2012, a study concluded that 4 out of 5 smartphone owners use the device to shop online. Global smartphone sales surpassed the sales figures for feature phones in early 2013. Worldwide shipments of smartphones topped 1 billion units in 2013, up 38% from 2012's 725 million, while comprising a 55% share of the mobile phone market in 2013, up from 42% in 2012. In Q1 2016 for the first time the shipments dropped by 3 percent year on year. The situation was caused by the maturing China market.
In 2011, Samsung had the highest shipment market share worldwide, followed by Apple. In 2013, Samsung had 31.3% market share, a slight increase from 30.3% in 2012, while Apple was at 15.3%, a decrease from 18.7% in 2012. Huawei, LG and Lenovo were at about 5% each, significantly better than 2012 figures, while others had about 40%, the same as the previous years figure. Only Apple lost market share, although their shipment volume still increased by 12.9%; the rest had significant increases in shipment volumes of 36–92%. In Q1 2014, Samsung had a 31% share and Apple had 16%. In Q4 2014, Apple had a 20.4% share and Samsung had 19.9%. In Q2 2016, Samsung had a 22.3% share and Apple had 12.9%. In Q1 2017, IDC reported that Samsung was first placed, with 80 million units, followed by Apple with 50.8 million, Huawei with 34.6 million, Oppo with 25.5 million and Vivo with 22.7 million.
Samsung's mobile business is half the size of Apple's, by revenue. Apple business has been increasing very rapidly over the past 4 years.
A 2012 University of Southern California study found that unprotected adolescent sexual activity was more common among owners of smartphones. A study conducted by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) Lighting Research Center (LRC) concluded that smartphones, or any backlit devices, can seriously affect sleep cycles. Some persons might become psychologically attached to smartphones resulting in anxiety when separated from the devices. A "smombie" (a combination of "smartphone" and "zombie") is a walking person using a smartphone and not paying attention as they walk, possibly risking an accident in the process, an increasing social phenomenon. The issue of slow-moving smartphone users led to the temporary creation of a "mobile lane" for walking in Chongqing, China. The issue of distracted smartphone users led the city of Augsburg, Germany to embed pedestrian traffic lights in the pavement.
In many countries, mobile phones are used to provide mobile banking services, which may include the ability to transfer cash payments by secure SMS text message. Kenya's M-PESA mobile banking service, for example, allows customers of the mobile phone operator Safaricom to hold cash balances which are recorded on their SIM cards. Cash can be deposited or withdrawn from M-PESA accounts at Safaricom retail outlets located throughout the country and can be transferred electronically from person to person and used to pay bills to companies.
Branchless banking has been successful in South Africa and the Philippines. A pilot project in Bali was launched in 2011 by the International Finance Corporation and an Indonesian bank, Bank Mandiri.
Another application of mobile banking technology is Zidisha, a US-based nonprofit micro-lending platform that allows residents of developing countries to raise small business loans from Web users worldwide. Zidisha uses mobile banking for loan disbursements and repayments, transferring funds from lenders in the United States to borrowers in rural Africa who have mobile phones and can use the Internet.
Mobile payments were first trialled in Finland in 1998 when two Coca-Cola vending machines in Espoo were enabled to work with SMS payments. Eventually, the idea spread and in 1999, the Philippines launched the country's first commercial mobile payments systems with mobile operators Globe and Smart.
Some mobile phones can make mobile payments via direct mobile billing schemes, or through contactless payments if the phone and the point of sale support near field communication (NFC). Enabling contactless payments through NFC-equipped mobile phones requires the co-operation of manufacturers, network operators, and retail merchants.
Mobile phone use while driving—including calling, text messaging, playing media, web browsing, gaming, using mapping apps or operating other phone features—is common but controversial, since it is widely considered dangerous due to what is known as distracted driving. Being distracted while operating a motor vehicle has been shown to increase the risk of accidents. In September 2010, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 995 people were killed by drivers distracted by phones. In March 2011 a US insurance company, State Farm Insurance, announced the results of a study which showed 19% of drivers surveyed accessed the Internet on a smartphone while driving. Many jurisdictions prohibit the use of mobile phones while driving. In Egypt, Israel, Japan, Portugal and Singapore, both handheld and hands-free calling on a mobile phone (which uses a speakerphone) is banned. In other countries including the UK and France and in many US states, only the use of calling on handheld phones is banned, while hands-free use is permitted.
A 2011 study reported that over 90% of college students surveyed text (initiate, reply or read) while driving. The scientific literature on the danger of driving while sending a text message from a mobile phone, or texting while driving, is limited. A simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related accidents when texting. Due to the complexity of smartphones that began to grow more after, this has introduced additional difficulties for law enforcement officials when attempting to distinguish one usage from another in drivers using their devices. This is more apparent in countries which ban both handheld and hands-free usage, rather than those which ban handheld use only, as officials cannot easily tell which function of the phone is being used simply by looking at the driver. This can lead to drivers being stopped for using their device illegally for a call when, in fact, they were using the device legally, for example, when using the phone's incorporated controls for car stereo, GPS or satnav.
A 2010 study reviewed the incidence of phone use while cycling and its effects on behavior and safety. In 2013 a national survey in the US reported the number of drivers who reported using their phones to access the Internet while driving had risen to nearly one of four. A study conducted by the University of Vienna examined approaches for reducing inappropriate and problematic use of mobile phones, such as using phones while driving.
Accidents involving a driver being distracted by being in a call on a phone have begun to be prosecuted as negligence similar to speeding. In the United Kingdom, from 27 February 2007, motorists who are caught using a handheld phone while driving will have three penalty points added to their license in addition to the fine of £60. This increase was introduced to try to stem the increase in drivers ignoring the law. Japan prohibits all use of phones while driving, including use of hands-free devices. New Zealand has banned handheld phone use since 1 November 2009. Many states in the United States have banned text messaging on phones while driving. Illinois became the 17th American state to enforce this law. As of July 2010, 30 states had banned texting while driving, with Kentucky becoming the most recent addition on July 15.
Public Health Law Research maintains a list of distracted driving laws in the United States. This database of laws provides a comprehensive view of the provisions of laws that restrict the use of mobile devices while driving for all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1992, when first law was passed through December 1, 2010. The dataset contains information on 22 dichotomous, continuous or categorical variables including, for example, activities regulated (e.g., texting versus talking, hands-free versus handheld calls, web browsing, gaming), targeted populations, and exemptions.
A "patent war" between Samsung and Apple started when the latter claimed that the original Galaxy S Android phone copied the interface—and possibly the hardware—of Apple's iOS for the iPhone 3GS. There was also smartphone patents licensing and litigation involving Sony Mobile, Google, Apple Inc., Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, Huawei and ZTE, among others. The conflict is part of the wider "patent wars" between multinational technology and software corporations. To secure and increase market share, companies granted a patent can sue to prevent competitors from using the methods the patent covers. Since the 2010s the number of lawsuits, counter-suits, and trade complaints based on patents and designs in the market for smartphones, and devices based on smartphone OSes such as Android and iOS, has increased significantly. Initial suits, countersuits, rulings, license agreements, and other major events began in 2009 as the smartphone market stated to grow more rapidly by 2012.
Some apps allows for sending and receiving facsimile (Fax), over a smartphone, including facsimile data (composed of raster bi-level graphics) generated directly and digitally from document and image file formats.
With the rise in number of mobile medical apps in the market place, government regulatory agencies raised concerns on the safety of the use of such applications. These concerns were transformed into regulation initiatives worldwide with the aim of safeguarding users from untrusted medical advice.
Smartphone malware is easily distributed through an insecure app store. Often, malware is hidden in pirated versions of legitimate apps, which are then distributed through third-party app stores. Malware risk also comes from what is known as an "update attack", where a legitimate application is later changed to include a malware component, which users then install when they are notified that the app has been updated. As well, one out of three robberies in 2012 in the United States involved the theft of a mobile phone. An online petition has urged smartphone makers to install kill switches in their devices. In 2014, Apple's "Find my iPhone" and Google's "Android Device Manager" can locate, disable, and wipe the data from phones that have been lost or stolen. With BlackBerry Protect in OS version 10.3.2, devices can be rendered unrecoverable to even BlackBerry's own Operating System recovery tools if incorrectly authenticated or dissociated from their account.
Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, codenamed Vault 7 and dated from 2013–2016, detail the capabilities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, including the ability to compromise the operating systems of most smartphones (including iOS and Android).
Guidelines for mobile device security were issued by NIST and many other organizations. For conducting a private, in-person meeting, at least one site recommends that the user switch the smartphone off and disconnect the battery.
Using smartphones late at night can disturb sleep, due to the blue light and brightly lit screen, which affects melatonin levels and sleep cycles. In an effort to alleviate these issues, several apps that change the color temperature of a screen to a warmer hue based on the time of day to reduce the amount of blue light generated have been developed for Android, while iOS 9.3 integrated similar, system-level functionality known as "Night Shift". Amazon released a feature known as "blue shade" in their Fire OS "Bellini" 5.0 and later. It has also been theorized that for some users, addicted use of their phones, especially before they go to bed, can result in "ego depletion". Many people also use their phones as alarm clocks, which can also lead to loss of sleep.
Pocket cameras have difficulty producing bokeh in images, but nowadays, some smartphones have dual-lens cameras that produce the bokeh effect easily, and can even rearrange the level of bokeh after shooting. The iPhone 7 Plus debuted with a dual-lens camera in the back of the smartphone. More advanced smartphones may come with 'quad cameras', or two dual-lens cameras such as the Honor 9 Lite smartphone. The back and front of the smartphone each have a 13MP main lens and a 2MP lens for capturing depth information. The Evercoss U50A Max smartphone has 4 cameras, and costs less than $100.
Huawei P20 Pro smartphone with triple lenses in the back of the smartphone has been launched as bokeh camera smartphone with optical zoom. First lens has 40MP RGB, second lens has 20MP monochrome and third lens has 8MP RGB telephoto 3x. The zoom can be enhanced to 5x with combination of the optical zoom and megapixel lens 40MP RGB to produce undeteriorated (optical+digital) zoom or digital zoom without loss of quality.
Simon was the first smartphone. Twenty years ago, it envisioned our app-happy mobile lives, squeezing the features of a cell phone, pager, fax machine, and computer into an 18-ounce black brick.
...It is at this point that early usability test participants met impasse. The switch connected to our "smart phone" is expecting the typical "dumb end-point"... AT&T's PhoneWriter was demonstrated at the 1993 Comdex Computer Show...
A display device is an output device for presentation of information in visual or tactile form (the latter used for example in tactile electronic displays for blind people). When the input information that is supplied has an electrical signal, the display is called an electronic display.
Common applications for electronic visual displays are televisions or computer monitors.Fire Phone
The Fire Phone is a 3D-enabled smartphone developed by Amazon.com and manufactured by Foxconn. It was announced on June 18, 2014, and marked Amazon's first foray into the smartphone market, following the success of the Kindle Fire. It was available for pre-order on the day it was announced. In the United States, it launched as an AT&T exclusive on July 25.The phone was notable for its hallmark feature "Dynamic Perspective": using four front-facing cameras and the gyroscope to track the user's movements, the OS adjusts the UI so it gives the impression of depth and 3D. Other notable Amazon services on the phone included X-Ray, used for identifying and finding information about media; Mayday, the 24-hour customer service tool; and Firefly, a tool which automatically recognized text, sounds, and objects, then offering a way to buy recognized items through Amazon's online store.The phone received mixed reviews. Critics praised the Dynamic Perspective, Firefly and, to a lesser extent, the packaged headphones, but derided the build, design, Fire OS version of Android, specifications, and exclusivity to AT&T. Amazon did not release sales figures for any of its devices, but based in part on its quickly declining prices and an announced $170 million write-down, analysts have judged it having not been commercially successful. Amazon ceased production of the Fire Phone in August 2015 and discontinued sales soon after.Generation Z
Generation Z or Gen Z, also known by a number of other names, is the demographic cohort after the Millennials. Demographers and researchers typically use the mid-1990s to mid-2000s as starting birth years. There is little consensus regarding ending birth years. Most of Generation Z have used the Internet since a young age and are comfortable with technology and social media.HTC
HTC Corporation (Chinese: 宏達國際電子股份有限公司; pinyin: Hóngdá Guójì Diànzǐ Gǔfèn Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī) (High Tech Computer Corporation, literally Hongda International Electronics Co., Ltd.) is a Taiwanese consumer electronics company headquartered in Xindian District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Founded in 1997, HTC began as an original design manufacturer and original equipment manufacturer, designing and manufacturing laptop computers.After initially making smartphones based mostly on Windows Mobile, HTC became a co-founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of handset manufacturers and mobile network operators dedicated to the development of the Android mobile operating system. The HTC Dream, marketed by T-Mobile in many countries as the T-Mobile G1, was the first phone on the market to run Android.
Although initially successful as a smartphone vendor, competition from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics among others diluted its market share, reaching only 7.2% by April 2015, and the company has experienced consecutive net losses. In 2016, HTC began to diversify its business beyond smartphones, having partnered with Valve to produce a virtual reality platform known as HTC Vive. After having collaborated with the company on its Pixel smartphone, HTC sold roughly half of its design and research talent, as well as non-exclusive rights to smartphone-related IP, to Google in 2017 for US$1.1 billion.IPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S (stylized and marketed as iPhone 5s) is a smartphone that was designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the seventh generation of the iPhone, succeeding the iPhone 5. The device was unveiled on September 10, 2013, at Apple's Cupertino headquarters. It was released on September 20, 2013, along with its lower-cost counterpart, the iPhone 5C.The iPhone 5S maintains almost the same external design as its predecessor, the iPhone 5, although the 5S received a new white/gold color scheme in addition to white/silver and space gray/black; however, the 5S has vastly upgraded internal hardware. The 5S introduced the A7 64-bit dual-core system-on-chip, the first 64-bit processor to be used on a smartphone, accompanied by the M7 "motion co-processor". A redesigned home button with Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition system which can be used to unlock the phone and authenticate App Store and iTunes Store purchases, was introduced. The camera was also updated with a larger aperture and a dual-LED flash optimized for different color temperatures.
The iPhone 5S originally shipped with iOS 7, which introduced a revamped visual appearance and other new features. Designed by Jony Ive, iOS 7 departed from skeuomorphic elements used by previous versions of iOS in favor of a flat, colorful design. Among new software features introduced to the iPhone 5S were AirDrop, an ad-hoc Wi-Fi sharing platform; Control Center, a control panel containing a number of commonly used functions; and iTunes Radio, an internet radio service. Earphones known as EarPods were included with the 5S, and Apple released accessories including a case and a dock.
Reception towards the device was generally positive, with some outlets considering it to be the best smartphone available on the market due to its upgraded hardware, Touch ID, and other changes introduced by iOS 7. Some criticized the iPhone 5S for keeping the design and small display of the iPhone 5, and others expressed security concerns about the Touch ID system. Nine million units of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were sold on their weekend of release, breaking Apple's sales record for iPhones. The iPhone 5S was the best selling phone on all major U.S. carriers in September 2013.The iPhone 5S was succeeded as Apple's flagship smartphone by the larger iPhone 6 in September 2014. On March 21, 2016, the 5S received a direct replacement with the announcement of the iPhone SE, which incorporated internal hardware similar to the iPhone 6S while retaining the smaller form factor and design of the 5S.The iPhone 5S is the first iPhone to be supported through six major versions of iOS, and the second iOS device to support six major updates behind the iPad 2, launching with iOS 7 in September 2013 while the latest update is iOS 12 which was released on September 17, 2018.IPhone SE
The iPhone SE (Special Edition) is a smartphone that was designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is part of the ninth generation of the iPhone alongside the iPhone 6S. It was announced on March 21, 2016 at the Town Hall auditorium in the Apple Campus by Apple executive Greg Joswiak, with pre-orders beginning on March 24, and official release on March 31, 2016. It was re-released almost a year later on March 24, 2017 with larger storage capacities. The iPhone SE shares the same physical design and dimensions as the iPhone 5S, but has upgraded internal hardware, including the newer Apple A9 system-on-chip, greater battery capacity, and a 12-megapixel rear camera that can record 4K video. Along with the iPhone 6S and the iPhone X, the iPhone SE was discontinued by Apple on September 12, 2018.No affordable successor to the iPhone SE was announced, and Business Insider stated that "Apple made a big mistake by removing its smallest and most affordable iPhone from its lineup", suggesting that the company was disregarding a significant number of customers who had been worried over the loss of the smaller design. This was affirmed by Computerworld, who claimed that "the harsh reality is that across some of Apple’s biggest markets, wage growth has stagnated, and people are feeling the pinch", further stating that there will always exist consumers in the mid-tier smartphone markets.In relation with the discontinuation of the iPhone SE, Quartz mentioned that women and other smartphone users with smaller hands have reported "pain from holding, scrolling, and swiping on phones, and a review of research on the ergonomics of handheld devices concludes that bigger products, like large phones and tablets, often result in overextension of the thumb and wrist", hinting to repetitive strain injury and that oversized iPhones and smartphones in general can be physically unusable for several users. The technology website Gizmodo shared the same concern, hoping that "there will be a return to smaller phones", and expressed a desire "to hold one's phone in a single hand, and be able to use it fully."Micromax Informatics
Micromax is an Indian consumer electronics company headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana. It was established as an IT Software company operating in the Embedded Devices Domain. It later entered the Mobile Handset business.
By 2010, Micromax was one of the largest domestic companies making handsets in the low-cost feature phone segment in India. As of Q3 2014, Micromax is the Tenth Largest Smartphone vendor in the world. The company is facing stiff competition from Chinese companies that are penetrating the Indian market. The company also owns YU Televentures, which sells the products under the brand name YU.Mobile app
A mobile app or mobile application is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a phone/tablet or watch. Apps were originally intended for productivity assistance such as Email, calendar, and contact databases, but the public demand for apps caused rapid expansion into other areas such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, order-tracking, and ticket purchases, so that there are now millions of apps available. Apps are generally downloaded from application distribution platforms which are operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store. Some apps are free, and others have a price, with the profit being split between the application's creator and the distribution platform. Mobile applications often stand in contrast to desktop applications which are designed to run on desktop computers, and web applications which run in mobile web browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.
In 2009, technology columnist David Pogue said that newer smartphones could be nicknamed "app phones" to distinguish them from earlier less-sophisticated smartphones. The term "app", short for "software application", has since become very popular; in 2010, it was listed as "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society.Mobile operating system
A mobile operating system (or mobile OS) is an operating system for phones, tablets, smartwatches, or other mobile devices. While computers such as typical laptops are 'mobile', the operating systems usually used on them are not considered mobile ones, as they were originally designed for desktop computers that historically did not have or need specific mobile features. This distinction is becoming blurred in some newer operating systems that are hybrids made for both uses.
Mobile operating systems combine features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use; usually including, and most of the following considered essential in modern mobile systems; a wireless inbuilt modem and SIM tray for telephony and data connection, a touchscreen, cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Protected Access, Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS) mobile navigation, video- and single-frame picture cameras, speech recognition, voice recorder, music player, near field communication, and infrared blaster. By Q1 2018, over 383 million smartphones were sold with 86.2 percent running Android and 12.9 percent running iOS. Android alone is more popular than the popular desktop operating system Windows, and in general smartphone use (even without tablets) outnumber desktop use.
Mobile devices with mobile communications abilities (e.g., smartphones) contain two mobile operating systems – the main user-facing software platform is supplemented by a second low-level proprietary real-time operating system which operates the radio and other hardware. Research has shown that these low-level systems may contain a range of security vulnerabilities permitting malicious base stations to gain high levels of control over the mobile device.Mobile operating systems have majority use since 2017 (measured by web use); with even only the smartphones running them (excluding tablets) more used than any other kind of device. Thus traditional desktop OS is now a minority used kind of OS; see usage share of operating systems. However, variations occur in popularity by regions, while desktop-minority also applies on some days in regions such as United States and United Kingdom.Mobile phone
A mobile phone, cell phone, cellphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture, and, therefore, mobile telephones are called cellular telephones or cell phones, in North America. In addition to telephony, 2000s-era mobile phones support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, video games, and digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; mobile phones which offer greatly advanced computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.
The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing c. 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs). In 1979, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) launched the world's first cellular network in Japan. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew to over seven billion—enough to provide one for every person on Earth. In first quarter of 2016, the top smartphone developers worldwide were Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, and smartphone sales represented 78 percent of total mobile phone sales. For feature phones (or "dumbphones") as of 2016, the largest were Samsung, Nokia, and Alcatel.Motorola Mobility
Motorola Mobility LLC is a U.S.-based consumer electronics and telecommunications company owned by Chinese technology firm Lenovo Group Limited.
The company primarily manufactures smartphones and other mobile devices running the Android operating system developed by Google.
Motorola Mobility was formed on January 4, 2011 after a split of Motorola Inc. into two separate companies, with Motorola Mobility assuming the company's consumer-oriented product lines (including its mobile phone business, as well as its cable modems and pay television set-top boxes), and Motorola Solutions assuming the company's enterprise-oriented product lines.
In May 2012 Google acquired Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion; the main intent of the purchase was to gain Motorola's patent portfolio, in order to protect other Android vendors from litigation. Under Google, Motorola increased its focus on the entry-level smartphone market, and under the Google ATAP division, began development on Project Ara—a platform for modular smartphones with interchangeable components. Shortly after the purchase, Google sold Motorola Mobility's cable modem and set-top box business to Arris Group.
Google's ownership of the company was short-lived. In January 2014, Google announced that it would sell Motorola Mobility to Chinese consumer electronics firm Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The sale, which excluded ATAP and all but 2,000 of Motorola's patents, was completed on October 30, 2014. Lenovo disclosed an intent to use Motorola Mobility as a way to expand into the United States smartphone market. In August 2015, Lenovo's existing smartphone division was subsumed by Motorola Mobility, and in November 2016, Lenovo announced that it would discontinue its existing, self-branded smartphone lines in favor of Motorola-branded devices going forward.OnePlus
OnePlus is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer based in Shenzhen, China founded by Pete Lau (CEO) and Carl Pei in December 2013. The company officially serves 34 countries and regions around the world as of July 2018. They have released numerous phones, amongst other products.Pixel (smartphone)
Pixel and Pixel XL are Android smartphones designed, developed and marketed by Google. They were announced during a press event on October 4, 2016, and serve as the first smartphones in the Google Pixel hardware line, succeeding the Nexus line of smartphones. On October 4, 2017, they were succeeded by the second-generation Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
The Pixels have an aluminium chassis, with a glass panel on the rear, a USB-C connector, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a 12.3 megapixel rear-facing camera. At launch, the devices featured certain exclusive software features, including the 7.1 "Nougat" update to the Android operating system, integration with the Google Assistant intelligent personal assistant, live technical support services, and unlimited full-resolution Google Photos backup for the life of the device.
The Pixels received mixed reviews. They were called "the best Android phones you can buy" and received praise for camera quality and performance. However, they were criticised for their high prices and lack of waterproofing, and some critics noted design similarities to Apple's iPhone. The Pixels have suffered from a variety of issues after release, including excessive optical lens flare in pictures captured through the rear camera, connectivity issues with some mobile data bands, unstable Bluetooth connections, unexpected battery shutdowns, and failing microphones. Google has acknowledged and released fixes for most of the issues.ROG Phone
The ROG Phone is an Android gaming smartphone made by Asus and the first generation of the ROG smartphone series. It was announced on June 8, 2018 at the Computex computer expo, being the first Asus smartphone to be targeted mainly to gamers. It competes with the Razer Phone, Xiaomi Black Shark, and ZTE Nubia Red Magic.Samsung Z2
Samsung Z2 is a smartphone produced by Samsung. It is the third smartphone to be shipped with the Tizen operating system, after the Samsung Z1 and Samsung Z3. It was released on August 29, 2016.Its successor the Samsung Z4 was released in May 2017.Smartphone patent wars
The smartphone wars or smartphone patents licensing and litigation refers to commercial struggles among smartphone manufacturers including Sony Mobile, Google, Apple Inc., Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Huawei, LG Electronics, ZTE and HTC, by patent litigation and other means. The conflict is part of the wider "patent wars" between technology and software corporations. The patent wars occurred because a finished smartphone might involve hundreds of thousands of patents.
To secure and increase market share, companies granted a patent can sue to prevent competitors from using the methods the patent covers. Since 2010 the number of lawsuits, counter-suits, and trade complaints based on patents and designs in the market for smartphones, and devices based on smartphone OSes such as Android and iOS, has increased significantly.Vivo (technology company)
Vivo Communication Technology Co. Ltd., known as Vivo, is a Chinese technology company owned by BBK Electronics that designs and manufactures smartphones, smartphone accessories, software, and online services, which are then sold in India. The company develops software for its phones, distributed through its Vivo App Store, with iManager included in their proprietary, Android-based operating system, Funtouch OS.
With research and development centers in Shenzhen and Nanjing, Vivo employs 1,600 R&D personnel, as of January 2016.Windows Mobile
Windows Mobile is a discontinued family of mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones and Pocket PCs.Its origin dated back to Windows CE in 1996, though Windows Mobile itself first appeared in 2000 as PocketPC 2000. It was renamed "Windows Mobile" in 2003, at which point it came in several versions (similar to the desktop versions of Windows) and was aimed at business and enterprise consumers. It became one of the most popular mobile operating systems as of the mid-2000s, but its popularity faded rapidly in the following years, and by February 2010, facing competition from rival mobile OSs, including Apple's iOS and Android, Microsoft announced Windows Phone to supersede Windows Mobile. As a result, Windows Mobile has been deprecated. Windows Phone is incompatible with Windows Mobile devices and software. The last version of Windows Mobile, released after the announcement of Windows Phone, was 6.5.5. After this, Microsoft ceased development on Windows Mobile, in order to concentrate on Windows Phone.Xiaomi
Xiaomi Corporation (; Chinese: 小米 [ɕjǎu.mì] (listen)) is a Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing. Xiaomi makes and invests in smartphones, mobile apps, laptops, and related consumer electronics.Xiaomi released its first smartphone in August 2011 and rapidly gained market share in China to become the country's largest smartphone company in 2014. At the start of second quarter of 2018, Xiaomi was the world's fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer, leading in both the largest market, China, and the second-largest market, India. Xiaomi later developed a wider range of consumer electronics, including a smart home (IoT) device ecosystem.Xiaomi has 15,000 employees in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and is expanding to other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Africa. According to Forbes magazine, Lei Jun, the founder and CEO, has an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion. He is China's 11th richest person and 118th in the world. Xiaomi is the world's 4th most valuable technology start-up after receiving US$1.1 billion funding from investors, making Xiaomi's valuation more than US$46 billion.