The progression of the smartphone has been breathtaking to behold. In a little over a decade, the technology came to dominate the world of communications. Today, there are over 2.5-billion smartphone users, with projections set to include a further 1-billion users over the next 5-years.
People use their smartphone for almost everything, and it’s fast replacing desktop and laptop technology due to its ease of use and portability. How did the smartphone come to such prominence? Who invented the tech, and what’s in store for the future?
Origins – The Beginning of Mobile Technology
Many point to 2007 and the introduction of the iPhone as the birth of the smartphone. However, the roots of the tech extend back to the mid-nineties. The IBM Simon was the first example of mobile communications technology.
Over the next decade or so, inventor of the cell phone – Nokia and Microsoft, experimented with wireless connectivity but failed to produce a device that would change the world of communications as we know it.
The Introduction of the iPhone and the Rise of Apple
While Apple was experiencing success with their MacBook and AppleMac products, nothing could prepare them for the fantastic success to come. Steve Jobs introduced a device that, “would make people want to lick the buttons off the screen.” The launch of the iPhone on June 29th, 2007 took the world by storm.
The device became the benchmark for all mobile phone manufacturers, providing a blueprint that would form the foundation of smartphone technology for the next decade.
Blackberry – Almost There
Blackberry came closest to usurping the iPhone’s dominance as the people’s smartphone of choice. Their device came standard with the “Blackberry Messenger,” application. People gravitated toward the BBM service due to the ease of communication. IT was no longer necessary to send emails or expensive SMS text messages, registering on BBM meant instant communications with your network – for free.
However, the introduction of apps such as “Whatsapp,” and “WeChat,” pushed BBM into extinction and users changed back to the iPhone due to its large touchscreen and friendly user-interface.
There’s an App for That – App Stores and the Rise of Android
The Apple app store opened its virtual doors to the public in 2008. However, in the initial few years of the store, Apple struggled to produce apps that provided real value to the market. At the same time, a new operating system; Android launched into the cyber realm with their “Play Store.”
2010 to Present Day – The Battle for Market Share
Since 2010, the smartphone space has only been about two companies – Apple and Samsung. Both corporations have unleashed an aggressive manufacturer war to produce the latest and greatest version of the technology. Over the years, the competition between the two companies has led to multiple intellectual property lawsuits and a surge in technology.
Into the Future
New manufacturers to the smartphone industry, such as YASYAS.com, Huawei, and Hisense all offer smartphone technology with comparable tech to the iPhone and Samsung models. With an inexpensive price point and excellent user-interface, we can expect to see a reduction in costs and an increase in functionality. Time will tell.
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