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A Sony Ericsson Smartphone (Model P910i) with touch screen and QWERTY keyboard

A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities beyond a typical mobile phone, often with PC-like functionality. There is no industry standard definition of a smartphone.[1][2] For some, a smartphone is a phone that runs complete operating system software providing a standardized interface and platform for application developers.[3][4] For others, a smartphone is simply a phone with advanced features.[5]



BlackBerry Pearl 8100

There is no agreement in the industry about what a smartphone actually is and definitions have changed over time.[6] According to David Wood, EVP at Symbian, "Smart phones differ from ordinary mobile phones in two fundamental ways: how they are built and what they can do."[7] Other definitions put different stresses on these two factors.[citation needed]

Most devices considered smartphones today use an identifiable operating system, often with the ability to add applications (e.g. for enhanced data processing, connectivity or entertainment) - in contrast to regular phones which only support sandboxed applications (like Java games)[citation needed]. These smartphone applications may be developed by the manufacturer of the device, by the network operator or by any other third-party software developer[citation needed].

In terms of features, most smartphones support full featured email capabilities with the functionality of a complete personal organizer. Other functionality might include an additional interface such as a miniature QWERTY keyboard, a touch screen or a D-pad, a built-in camera, contact management, an accelerometer, built-in navigation hardware and software, the ability to read business documents in a variety of formats such as PDF and Microsoft Office, media software for playing music, browsing photos and viewing video clips, internet browsers or even just secure access to company mail, such as is provided by a BlackBerry.


Motorola Q Touch Phone Apple iPhone 8GB

The first smartphone was called Simon designed by IBM in 1992 and shown as a concept product 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 touch-screen to select phone 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 smartphone.

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 expensive PDA model 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 as the first color screen Communicator model which was the first true smartphone with an open operating system; the 9500 Communicator that was also Nokia's first cameraphone Communicator and Nokia's first WiFi 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 also having been the most expensive phone model sold by a major brand for almost the full lifespan of the model series, easily 20% and sometimes 40% more expensive than the next most expensive smartphone by any major manufacturer.

The Ericsson R380 was sold as a 'smartphone' but could not run native third-party applications.[8] Although the Nokia 9210 was arguably the first true smartphone with an open operating system, Nokia continued to refer to it as a Communicator.

In 2001 RIM released the first BlackBerry which was the first smartphone optimized for wireless email use and has achieved a total customer base of 8 million subscribers by June 2007, of which three fourths are in North America.

Although the Nokia 7650, announced in 2001, was referred to as a 'smart phone' in the media, and is now called a 'smartphone' on the Nokia support site, the press release referred to it as an 'imaging phone'.[9][10][11] Handspring delivered the first widely popular smartphone devices in the US market by marrying its Palm OS based Visor PDA together with a piggybacked GSM phone module. By 2002, Handspring was marketing an integrated package called the Treo; the company was subsequently bought by Palm primarily because the PDA market was dying but the Treo smartphone was quickly becoming popular as a phone with extended PDA organizer features. That same year, Microsoft announced its Windows CE Pocket PC OS would be offered as "Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphone 2002".[12] Microsoft originally defined its Windows Smartphone products as lacking a touchscreen and offering a lower screen resolution compared to its sibling Pocket PC devices. Palm has since largely abandoned its own Palm OS in favor of licensing Microsoft's WinCE-based operating system now referred to as Windows Mobile, although WinCE and Palm OS together now amount to 10% of the smartphone market.

In 2005 Nokia launched its N-Series of 3G smartphones which Nokia started to market not as mobile phones but as multimedia computers.

Out of 1 billion camera phones to be shipped in 2008, smartphones, the higher end of the market with full email support, will represent about 10% of the market or about 100 million units.[citation needed]

The Smartphone Summit semi-annual conference details smartphone industry market data, trends, and updates among smartphone related hardware, software, and accessories.

Operating systems

HTC Excalibur List of Mobile
Operating Systems
Symbian OSm n s Windows Mobilem n iPhone OSn Palm OSn Openmoko Linuxl n Access Linux Platforml n s Qtopial m n Internet Tablet OSl n BlackBerry OSm Androidl m LiMo Platforml m n

l = Linux based
m = Managed code support
n = Native code permitted
s = Capability-based security

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The most common operating systems (OS) used in smartphones are:

Symbian OS from Symbian Ltd. (65% Market Share Sales Q4 2007)
Symbian has the largest share in most markets worldwide, but lags behind other companies in the relatively small but highly visible North American market.[13] This matches the success of its largest shareholder[14] and customer, Nokia, in all markets except Japan. Nokia itself enjoys 52.9% of the smartphone market.[15] In Japan Symbian is strong due to a relationship with NTT DoCoMo, with only one of the 44 Symbian handsets released in Japan coming from Nokia.[16] It is used by all the major handset manufacturers, including BenQ, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.[17] Various implementations of user interfaces on top of Symbian (most notable being UIQ and Nokia's own S60) are incompatible, which along with the requirement that applications running on mobile phones be signed [18] is hindering the potential for a truly widely accepted mobile application platform. It has received some adverse press attention due to virus threats (actually trojan horses).[19]
Windows Mobile from Microsoft (12% Market Share Sales Q4 2007)
Windows CE operating system along with Windows Mobile middleware are widely spread in Asia. The two improved variants of this operating system, Windows Mobile 6 Professional (for touch screen devices) and Windows Mobile 6 Standard were unveiled February 2007 and in the first half of 2008 respectively. Windows Mobile is enjoying great popularity because of the low barrier to entry for third-party developers to write new applications for the platform.
RIM BlackBerry operating system (11% Market Share Sales Q4 2007)
This OS is focused on easy operation and was originally designed for business. Recently it has seen a surge in third-party applications and has been improved to offer full multimedia support.
iPhone OS from Apple Inc. (7% Market Share Sales Q4 2007)
The iPhone uses an operating system called iPhone OS derived from Mac OS X. Third party applications can be made available for normal iPhone users by creating a web service that can be accessed via the included web browser. Native application support was recently announced in March 2008 and currently requires a beta version of the iPhone OS which is available to developers and corporations for testing purposes. The new release of iPhone OS should be made available in early July 2008.[20]
Linux operating system (5% Market Share Sales Q4 2007)
Linux is strongest in China where it is used by Motorola, and in Japan, used by DoCoMo.[21][22] Rather than being a platform in its own right, Linux is used as a basis for a number of different platforms developed by several vendors, including Motorola and TrollTech, which are mostly incompatible.[23][24] PalmSource (now Access) is moving towards an interface running on Linux.[25] Another platform based on Linux is being developed by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone.[26]
Palm OS developed by PalmSource (now a subsidiary of ACCESS).
PalmSource traditionally used its own platform developed by Palm Inc. Access Linux Platform (ALP) is an improvement that was planned to be launched in the first half of 2007. It will use technical specifications from the Linux Phone Standards Forum. The Access Linux Platform will include an emulation layer to support applications developed for Palm-based devices.

Market Share data from Canalys report "Worldwide smart mobile device market, Canalys Q4 2007"[15]

Comparison table

Model CPU OSSize Weight Screen resolution Keyboard CameraOther Apple iPhone[27]620 MHz ARM 1176 OS X 81.4 cc 135g 480x320 Soft QWERTY2.0mp Wi-Fi, BluetoothE-TEN glofiish X500+[28]400 MHz Samsung SC32442 Windows Mobile 105cc 146g 320x240 Soft QWERTY2.0mp GPS, Wi-FiHTC P3300[29]201 MHz TI OMAP850 Windows Mobile 105cc 130g 240x320 Soft QWERTY2.0mp GPS, Wi-FiHTC TyTN II[30]400 MHz Qualcomm 7200 ARM Windows Mobile 6 126cc 190g 240x320 Full Slide-Out QWERTY3.0mp AFGPS, HSDPA, Wi-FiHTC Wizard200 MHz Texas Instruments OMAPARM Windows Mobile 5 150cc 160g 2.8" 240x320 Full Slide-Out QWERTY1.3mp Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, IrDALobster 700TV Windows Mobile 5.0 140g 240x320 Numeric with T91.3mp DAB Digital Radio, DABTV Television, GPRS, Virgin Mobileonly Motorola RIZR Z8[31]ARM 11 Symbian OS 77cc 112g 240x320 Numeric with T92mp HSDPA, BluetoothMotorola RIZR Z10[32]ARM 11 Symbian OS (UIQ) 60cc 100g 240x320 Numeric with T93.5mp HSDPA, BluetoothMotorola Q[33]312 MHz Intel XScale PXA272Windows Mobile 89cc 115g 320x240 Full QWERTY1.3mp internal GPS with no public interface Nokia E51[34]369 MHz ARM 11 Symbian OS (S60) v9.2 61cc 100g 2.0" 240x320 Numeric with T92mp Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, IrDA, UMTS(HSDPA), MicroSDNokia E61i[35]220 MHz ARM Symbian OS (S60) 114cc 150g 320x240 Full QWERTY2mp Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, IrDA, UMTS, MicroSDNokia E70[36]220 MHz Symbian OS (S60) 136cc 127g 352x416 Full QWERTYwhen flipped open, Numeric with T9when closed 2mp Wi-Fi Nokia E90 Communicator[37]Symbian OS (S60) 150cc 210g 800x352 & 240x320 Full QWERTYand Numeric with T93.2mp GPS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi Nokia N82[38]Dual CPU, ARM 11, 332 MHz Symbian OS (S60) 110cc 114g 240x320 Numeric with T95mp GPS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, MicroSD Nokia N95[39]332 MHz Texas Instrument OMAP 2420 (ARM 11) Symbian OS (S60) 110cc 120g 240x320 Numeric with T9, Multimedia 5mp GPS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, IrDA, MicroSD Nokia N96[40]332 MHz Texas Instrument OMAP 2420 (ARM 11) Symbian OS (S60) 113cc 125g 240x320 Numeric with T9, Multimedia 5mp GPS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, MicroSD Palm Treo 700p[41]312 MHz Intel XScale Palm OS 5 151cc 180g 320x320 Full QWERTY1.3mp RIM BlackBerry Pearl(8100) [42]BlackBerry OS 77cc 90g 240x260 Numeric with SureType 1.3mp RIM BlackBerry Curve (8300) [43]BlackBerry OS 111g 320x240 Full QWERTY2.0mp RIM BlackBerry8700c[44]BlackBerry OS 149cc 134g 320x240 Full QWERTYNo RIM BlackBerry 8800[45]BlackBerry OS 105cc 134g 320x240 Full QWERTYNo GPS Samsung Blackjack(SGH-i607)[46]Windows Mobile 6 79cc 105g 320x240 Full QWERTY1.3mp with front VGA camera for video calls HSDPA Samsung SCH-i730520 MHz Intel PXA 272 Windows Mobile 5.0 165cc 183 g 240 x 320 pixels Full slide-out QWERTY1.3mp in some versions Samsung SCH-i760Windows Mobile 6 Professional 124cc 150 g 240 x 320 pixels Full slide-out QWERTY1.3mp HSDPA, Wi-Fi, microSD, Bluetooth 2.0Sony Ericsson P990[47]Symbian OS (UIQ) 162cc 150g 240x320 Full QWERTY, Numeric with T9, Soft 2mp Wi-Fi Sony Ericsson W950i[48]Symbian OS (UIQ) 86cc 112g 240x320 Numeric with T9, Soft No Sony Ericsson W960i[49]Symbian OS (UIQ) 119g 240x320 Numeric with T9, Soft 3.2mp with Auto FocusWi-Fi, Bluetooth(A2DP) Sony Ericsson P1i[50]200 MHz ARM Symbian OS (UIQ) 124g 240x320 QWERTY with double-letter keys 3.2mp with Auto FocusWi-Fi, Bluetooth(A2DP), 3GSony Ericsson XPERIA X1[51]528 MHz Qualcomm 7200A Windows Mobile 6.1 97cc - 110 x 53 x 16.7mm 145g 3" 800x480 Full slide-out QWERTY3.2mp HSUPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (A2DP), aGPS, MicroSD Toshiba Portege G900 520 MHz Marvell PXA270 Windows Mobile 6.0 156cc 196g 3" 800x480 Full slide-out QWERTY2mp with front VGA camera for video calls HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MiniSD

See also


  1. ^ Smartphones Take Center Stage at Wi-fi Planet
  2. ^ Analysis: What is a smart phone? at
  3. ^ Birdnest Glossary
  4. ^ The iPhone is not a smartphone at Engadget
  5. ^ CEVA Glossary of Terms
  6. ^ Analysis: What is a smart phone? at
  7. ^ ibid
  8. ^ Ericsson R380
  9. ^ Nokia Support Site
  10. ^ Nokia 7650
  11. ^ Imaging Phone
  12. ^ Windows Powered Smartphone
  13. ^ North American Market
  14. ^ Symbian Shareholders
  15. ^ a b Smart mobile device shipments Q4. Canalys (2008-02-05).
  16. ^ Symbian Facts
  17. ^ Symbian Licensees
  18. ^ Symbian Signed
  19. ^ Trojan Horses on Symbian
  20. ^ iPhone Dev Center. Apple.
  21. ^ Shipping Linux-based Phones at Technology News Daily
  22. ^ Microsoft Excluded from DoCoMo at The Register
  23. ^ Incompatibility in Mobile Linux at OS News
  24. ^ Search Mobile Computing
  25. ^ Running on Linux
  26. ^ Motorola Press Release on Partnership on Linux Platform
  27. ^ Apple - iPhone
  28. ^ Communication/Industrial Handheld, PDA And Pocket PC
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Motorola RIZR Z8 - Full phone specifications
  32. ^ Motorola RIZR Z10 - Full phone specifications
  33. ^ Motorola Q Wiki - MOTO Q Wiki
  34. ^ Device Details - Nokia E51
  35. ^ Device Details - Nokia E61i
  36. ^ Device Details - Nokia E70
  37. ^ Forum Nokia - Sorry, page cannot be found
  38. ^ Device Details - Nokia N82
  39. ^ Device Details - Nokia N95
  40. ^ Device Details - Nokia N96
  41. ^ Palm - Products - Palm® Treo™ 700p smartphone - Specs
  42. ^ BlackBerry - BlackBerry | Wireless Handheld Devices, Software & Services from Research In Motion (RIM)
  43. ^ BlackBerry - BlackBerry | Wireless Handheld Devices, Software & Services from Research In Motion (RIM)
  44. ^ BlackBerry - BlackBerry | Wireless Handheld Devices, Software & Services from Research In Motion (RIM)
  45. ^ BlackBerry - BlackBerry | Wireless Handheld Devices, Software & Services from Research In Motion (RIM)
  46. ^ Samsung BlackJack
  47. ^ Sony Ericsson - Mobile phones - Overview - P990i
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^

External links

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