Smartphones are more high tech. You might think it is any phone that isn’t a flip phone. It’s not true. They have different characteristics from any other phones. A smartphone is usually a phone that can make calls and texts, but with all these extra features. Some of these include cameras to take pictures and record videos, media players where you can download music to it, application stores so you can play games, download movies, TV shows, etc. Smartphones can also access the Internet. The most common web browsers on smartphones are Safari (iPhone) and Google Chrome (Android). These types of phones also use different screens, such as LCD, AMOLED, OLED, or other LED screens.
Some people like to believe that the original iPhone was the first smartphone that ever hit the market. Well I’m here to break the news to everyone here reading this post. The very first one dates back to 1992, more than fifteen years before the Apple iPhone. Although no one used the term “smartphone” until 1995. It was called the Simon Personal Communicator. This phone was created by a company by the name of IBN. It was the first device that brought a cell phone and PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) together. It also had a monochrome LCD touch screen and a stylus for ease of use. The screen was 4.5 inches by 1.4 inches. It also had a few other features such as a clock, calendar, note collection so you could write reminders or other things if needed, and even a way to schedule appointments. You were also able to send and receive faxes, pages, and emails. Even with the wonderful features the IBN Simon offered, they only managed to sell around 50,000 units. This could be because the price was originally $899, which would be $1,435 in the modern world.
We will fast forward to 1996 now. The first ever phone created by Nokia. It went by the name of the Nokia 9000 Communicator. The screen was almost as big as the phone itself. It ran on an Intel 24 MHz i386 CPU. Just to give you a hint of how long ago this was, I’ll say this. It had 8 MB of internal memory. You couldn’t put a single app on there today. That is why there is a 64 GB iPhone. Anyways back to the Nokia. It had some of the features the Simon did. It could make calls, fax, had a clock, notes, and stuff like this. It also had TextWeb, a web browser, digital camera connectivity, and smart messaging. Nokia went on to make a lot of different variations of this smartphone.
The year was 1999 when a company named of Ericsson Mobile Communications released the Ericsson R380 smartphone. This was the first phone that was marketed as a “smartphone” when it was released to the public. In December of 1999, Popular Science magazine said this phone was most of the most important advancements in science and technology. This is because it was so small and lightweight. It was also the first phone to use Symbian OS, which was previously only used on Psion personal organizers. With every phone that was released, they kept getting better and more high end for that time period. Now the year is 2002. A phone is released under the name of the Palm Treo. This was developed by Handspring, which was then bought out by Palm Inc. Nineteen of these phone models were released. These phones could do quite a bit for it being 2002. It could also call directly from the contact list and it had a built in camera. It ran on Palm OS, but later used Windows Mobile. The phone was then replaced by its successor the Palm Pre, which was an amazing phone. I have seen one personally and I can say with without a doubt that they are wonderful phones, or used to be. Finally we get to 2003. Blackberry starts releasing smartphones and they decided to release a series called the Quark. These were highly popular for first generation Blackberry phones back in the day for many reasons. It had the 34 key QWERTY keyboard, USB connection, a good memory of 16 MB, double what the Nokia had. It also had build it speakerphone and SMS.
From 2003 to 2007 there were a few more smartphone releases, but nothing significant. In 2007 the very first iPhone came out. The idea of the original iPhone was conceived in 2005 by Steve Jobs. The project was called Project Purple 2. He wanted to created a phone with a multi-touch touchscreen so it could eliminate an actual keyboard. He wanted everything to be touchscreen based. After collaborating with AT&T, which was Cingular Wireless at the time, the iPhone was created and unveiled on January 9th, 2007. Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as a combination of three different devices. It was a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communicator. It also had 4 GB of memory. The iPhone was later released on June 29th, 2007. On the day of release there was a shortage in most stores within the hour. Apple later went on to release many versions of the iPhone. The iPhone 7 is the latest announcement, but we don’t have much information on it yet and there is no specific release date.
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. The first Android phone ever was created in 2008. It went by the name of the HTC Dream. This was a big step for Google based phones. It was 2005 when Google acquired Android. It was originally designed slightly like a Blackberry phone, but was redesigned with a touch screen and physical sliding keyboard, similar to the Palm Pre. They thought about a touch keyboard but decided against it because they lacked the time and technology. It came in three different colors. Black, white, and bronze were the colors they decided on for the phones release. It had good feedback when it was first released, which was expected for the first Android phone. Even with its great design the phone was discontinued in 2010 because of its successor, the HTC Magic. Over the years Google kept producing phones by Android and they were all great. They had good build quality, but weren’t as user friendly as the iPhone. This made development slightly more difficult. The longest series of these phones are the Galaxy series. They are on par with iPhones and will release the Galaxy S8 soon, but not much is known about it. It is a mystery just like the iPhone 7.
Windows has been around for as long as anyone can remember. It’s been many years since the release of the Windows Pocket PC which did pretty well on the market even though it was spread out through quite a few different devices. It was later changed to Windows CE in the 1990’s and then to Windows Mobile in the 2000’s. Windows has always released phones and personal computers, but they have never been as successful as other phone makers like Android and Apple. The year was 2004 when Windows wanted to develop a major Windows Mobile update. It went by the code name Photon. The work went on very slow until the whole project was eventually scraped. In 2008, Microsoft reorganized their Windows Mobile team to start working on a new mobile operating software. The phone was supposed to be released in 2009, but it got delayed which made them develop Windows Mobile 6.5 as an interim release. In 2011, Windows decided to partner up with Nokia. This way Windows Mobile would be the primary operating system on Nokia phones. This meant it would be replacing Symbian. The main reason they did this would be to compete with iOS and Android operating systems. Windows Mobile phones were going to also use Bing as their main source of their web browser and map application. The also integrated the Nokia Ovi store with the Windows Phone Store. The first phones they released together with their partnership was the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710. These phones were released in September and December of 2011, but announced in October of 2011. The two partners released quite a few different versions of the Lumia phone. After this they proceeded the come up with a few more phone designs and software updates such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and then Windows 10 Mobile. Recently Windows has been doing terribly on the market though. In mid 2016 their market share dropped below 1% to an all time low of 0.7%. They aren’t giving up though and they want their future to be bright. They believe it will be up to at least 7% of total market by 2018.
There are many things we can expect from the smartphones that will come out in the nearing years. We can always make assumptions too, but we will never know until they are actually released. After doing some research I have gathered a few things that consumers want or things we slightly have that can only get better from here. One would be virtual reality or VR. We have seen this in Pokemon Go (which I’m sure most of you are familiar with) and a few other things. Apps like these use your camera and other features to bring virtual elements to the real world. An unrealistic future device would be a phone that can bend and fold. I doubt this would be possible, but Nokia is already researching it with their Morph project. They want a phone you can wear as a watch and then bend in back into a normal phone. A cool feature that I hope to see is a built in projector. This way you can watch movies on the walls so you don’t have to hold your phone and watch from a small screen. This will also help multiple people watch the video or movie without everyone hovering around you and the phone. A feature that is very possible would be a 3-D screen. We have seen this in the Nintendo 3DS which had the top screen in 3-D without the need of glasses. I believe this would be an interesting feature for special games and 3-D movies. It also opens up potential for a new world of three dimensional products and applications. So as you can guess there will be a lot in store for smartphones within the next few years and it can only get better from then.
There are many different operating systems, phones, and uses for your smartphone. That is how they got the name. Over the next few years we will see intense advancements from companies like Android, Apple, and Windows. We learned a lot about the past and origin of the smartphone. It goes way back to the 80’s and 90’s before the term was even popular and in use for these types of products. I think technology is just amazing and it’s crazy to see how far we have come with computers, phones, software, and hardware. Smartphones are going to be around forever and we better get used to that fact. Although there could be new companies coming up and taking over the big name industries. It’s rare to see a Blackberry or Nokia these days. Palm phones have been discontinued. We don’t know for sure what will happen in the future for any phone. They change every year. Apple might be getting rid of the standard headphone jack on the iPhone 7, Android might just have the best phone battery life ever with the release of the Galaxy S8. The phones could be made out of indestructible material. Will wireless charging be the normal so we are no longer stuck to a cord in the wall? We really don’t know, but people want to know. Ten years into the future, everything could be different.
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