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History of the Smartphone
The first smartphone carried the name Simon, and was designed by IBM in 1992. It was shown as a concept product that year at COMDEX, the computer industry trade show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The following year, tt was released to the public by BellSouth. Besides having mobile phone functions, it was designed to have a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail, send and it can receive fax, and was also a game interface. Designed to have no physical buttons to dial, customers had to use a touch-screen to select phone numbers with the finger or create facsimiles and memos with an optional stylus. Text was entered with a unique on-screen "predictive" keyboard. Because of the changes we have today in smartphone technology, the Simon would be a fairly low-end smartphone.
Many smartphones were then made through the years. 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 between Hewlett Packard, which conceptualized an early successful and expensive PDA model, and Nokia which was clearly the forerunner in mobile phone sales around that time. Early prototype models had the two devices – HP’s PDA and Nokia’s mobile phones - fixed via a hinge. Nokia 9210 goes down in mobile phone history as the first color screen Communicator model and also the first true smartphone with an open operating system. Although the Nokia 9210 was arguably the first true smartphone with an open operating system, Nokia continued to refer to it as a Communicator. The 9500 Communicator , Nokia's first cameraphone Communicator is also its first WiFi phone. T he 9300 Communicator was the third dimensional shift into a smaller form factor. Nokia’s latest, the E90 Communicator has a built-in GPS. The Nokia Communicator model line is remarkable for 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.
Ericsson also entered the market with its R380 sold as a 'smartphone' but main criticism was that it could not run native third-party applications. 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 quarters are in North America alone.
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, but the press release for it called it as an 'imaging phone'. Handspring delivered the first widely popular smartphone devices in the US market by marrying its Palm OS based Visor PDA with a 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 becoming a sunset enterprise, but the Treo smartphone was quickly becoming popular as a phone with extended PDA organizer features. That same year, Microsoft announced an overhaul in its Windows CE Pocket PC OS which would be for sale as "Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphone 2002". Originally, Microsoft defined its Windows Smartphone products as lacking a touchscreen and offering a lower screen resolution compared to its sibling Pocket PC devices. Palm, meanwhile, 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.
Nokia, the frontrunner that it is, launched in 2005 its N-Series of 3G smartphones which it started to market not as mobile phones but as multimedia computers.
The projection is that out of 1 billion camera phones to be shipped in 2008, smartphones, especially those at the higher end of the market with full email support, will represent about 10% of the market or about 100 million units.
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