History of Smartphone evolution and Timeline

In our daily life, we normally look and use different types of Smartphones, but do we really know enough about these Smartphones? Here are some questions like - What exactly a “Smartphone” is? What are the advanced features of a SmartPhone? How smartphones evolved? Different types of Operating Systems used for Smartphones? Who used the term ‘Smartphone’ for the very first time? Which was the first smartphone? Evolution and history of smartphones.

Smartphones - Advance features and history

With the advancement of technology and regular development in electronic and communications field, existing electronic components are being replaced with emerging future technologies like Memristors etc. This regular advancement in communication sector can easily be described by taking a look over phones and mobile's history.

Advanced Features of Smartphones:

  • Have advanced computing ability

  • High speed data access through Wi-Fi

  • Mobile broadband feature for data access

  • Have Web browser functionality for surfing websites

  • High resolution touch screen facility

  • GPS Navigation unit facility and portable Media player

  • Pocket Video camera and compact Digital Camera

  • File, audio and video transfer ability and light pen functionality

  • They are built on mobile computing platform

  • Email facility

  • Large memory for storage

We will get many more new advanced features in upcoming smartphones in future.

Types Operating Systems used by Smartphone

  • Apple's iOS

  • Google's Android

  • Microsoft's Windows OS

  • Nokia's Symbian

  • RIM's BlackBerry OS

  • Embedded Linux distributions such as MeeGo and Maemo

OS used by contemporary featured phones

The featured phone runs with the support of third party software through Java ME or BREW platforms and on proprietary firmware.

What is the the Main difference between contemporary phones and SmartPhones?

The advance APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) in smartphones allow better integration of third-party applications with their Operating systems and Hardware than other contemporary phones.

Who used the term 'smartphone' very first?

The term 'smartphone' was first used by Ericsson in 1997 for their GS88 phone which was first labelled as Smartphone.

Evolutionary history of smartphones

As said above Ericsson used the term 'Smartphone' for their GS88 phone and labelled it as Smartphone; the platform since 1996 used for them was Symbian. But in 2011, Google's Android OS outperformed it. Nokia in February 2011 declared to use Windows OS in their future Smartphones. Their first smartphones with Windows were 7.5 smartphones, Lumia 710 and 800.

Year 1992

IBM Simon - designed in 1992, shown as a concept product in Las Vegas, Nevada. (The very First smartphone)
  • Calculator and notepad

  • e-mail client, fax

  • Calendar, games

  • Address book, world clock

  • Touchscreen

  • Year 1996

    Nokia Communicator line (First smartphone product of Nokia)
  • It was a Palmtop computer style smartphone

  • Has Clamshell design with a featured phone display

  • User interface and a keyboard

  • 640x200 pixel high resolution display

  • PDA user interface under the flip top

  • E-mail communication

  • Text based web browsing

  • Phone had GEOS V3 operating system

  • Year 1997

    Ericsson GS88 (First 'smartphone' labelled phone)

    Year 2000

    Ericsson R380 Smartphone (first Smartphone product by Ericsson)
  • Touchscreen functionality

  • First phone which used an open operating system (Symbian)

  • First marketed as a SmartPhone

  • Include PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)

  • Small in size and lighter in weight

  • NOKIA 9210 Communicator (released in yr 2000)
  • First Color screen model

  • Open operating system Symbian OS

  • Year 2002

    First BlackBerry device was released by RIM in year 2002 with additional email functionality. It was the first Smartphone optimized for wireless email and it gained around 32 million subscribers by end of year 2009.

    Year 2007

    NOKIA N95 Series
  • Wide range of multimedia features

  • GPS Functionality

  • 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and TV out

  • 5 mepixel camera with autofocus and LED flash

  • Nokia 6110 Navigator
    A Symbian based dedicated GPS phone introduced in June 2007.

    Apple Inc. iPhone (Was the first iPhone by Apple Inc.)
  • First multi touch interface phone

  • Large touchscreen for direct finger input instead of keypad

  • Inclusive of a far better web browser, Ars Technica

  • This year Apple announced that iPhone would support third party "web 2.0 applications" running in its web browser that share the look and feel of the iPhone interface.

    Year 2008

    Second generation iPhone by Apple
  • Lower in price

  • 3G Support

  • With App Store as a great feature

  • HTC Dream
    Android OS for Smartphones released in 2008 with its first phone HTC Dream.
  • Integration with Google's proprietary applications such as Gmail, Calendar, Maps and full HTML web browser

  • Supports execution of native application

  • Multi tasking application capability

  • Nexus One smartphone
    Launched in January 2010 on Android OS.

    Year 2010

    Apple iOS 4
  • APIs to allow third party applications to multi tasking

  • Apple iPhone 4
  • 960x640 pixel display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch

  • Front facing VGA Camera for video conferencing

  • HD Video in 720p at 30 frames per second

  • 1 GHz processor

  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash capable of recording

  • Nokia N8 SmartPhones
  • Stylus free capacitive touchscreen

  • Uses Symbian OS

  • 12 megapixel camera with Xenon flash capable of recording HD Video in 720p

  • Satellite navigation

  • Front facing VGA camera for video conferencing

  • Year 2011

    Apple iPhone 4S accounced on Oct 4, 2011
  • 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording at 30 fps

  • Dual core A5 processor

  • Both GSM & CDMA network allowed

  • HTC EVO 3D
    was announced by HTC Corporation
  • Produce 3D effects with no need for special glasses (autostereoscopy)

  • For the year 2012, everyone was waiting for Windows 8 OS based PCs and Smartphones expected to include a lot of apps and new features. If you are a mobile application developer then you can easily get a mobile from Microsoft as they are offering free Windows Phones to mobile application developers in India.

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