A cellular telephone with built-in applications and Internet access. Smartphones provide digital voice service as well as text messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, still and video cameras, MP3 player and video viewing. In addition to their built-in functions, smartphones can run myriad applications, turning the once single-minded cellphone into a mobile computer.|
It Took More than a Decade
In 1994, IBM and BellSouth introduced a combination phone and PDA called the Simon Personal Communicator. Often touted as the first smartphone, the Simon was costly and heavy (see personal communicator). It took another decade before smartphones became small and powerful enough to be widely used. Introduced in 2002, and due to its focus on e-mail, the BlackBerry became the popular, corporate smartphone, amassing a huge audience over the years. In 2008, the iPhone 3G S and application platform changed the industry forever, and combined with the BlackBerry and Android, smartphones have taken mobile computing to a new level (see "Smartphones - Truly Personal" in hot topics and trends). See smartphone keyboard, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian OS and Windows Phone 7. See also smart TV.
In 2002, this Treo model from Palm was one of the first smartphones. It used the Palm OS to run Palm's venerable PDA application along with e-mail and Web browsing. (Image courtesy of Palm, Inc.)
Starting on the left are the Apple iPhone 3G S from AT&T, Motorola Droid X from Verizon and HTC EVO from Sprint. Apple created the demand for touch screens. See