What Are Smartphones?

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on September 27, 2011
Last Updated on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 1:44 PM
Total Updates: 4

Cell phones have evolved so quickly over time. During their evolution cell phone manufacturers and retailers have looked for better ways to identify certain cell phones from others. For the general public, the term used to describe their mobile phone is still either phone or cell phone, but manufacturers and retailers often refer to cell phones with advanced capabilities as smartphones.

The distinction between a regular cell phone and smartphone can be vague and there is no official definition for what constitutes the difference between them. The definitions also shift over time since many phones that are considered plain cell phones today can have capabilities that exceed those of phones that had been promoted as smartphones in the past. This means that the expectations of what makes a smartphone a smartphone continues to evolve.

Smartphones is a term often used to describe cell phones with full-sized internet browsers. They are now also expected to be able to download and run multiple apps. Apple, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, RIM, LG, HP/Palm, and Nokia are some of the current smartphone manufacturers. Symbian, Android, RIM, iOS, and Windows Mobile are some of the current smartphone OSs, or operating systems. Apple has led in customer satisfaction with their iPhone. The iPhone runs an iOS OS and has been a huge success since its introduction in 2007.

As cell phone technology evolves, the use of the term smartphone is uncertain. It is likely that this term will be a dying fad. The purpose of this term to differentiate smartphones from plain cell phones might someday become unnecessary. If there remains a need for a cheap simple flip phone than this distinction might be necessary for cell phone retailers. The use of this term going forward is yet to be determined.