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The History Of The Smartphone


What is the history of the smartphone? Well here is the answer. The smartphone market is developing around operating systems in perpetual competition. Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7, or Blackberry OS, everyone wants their piece of the pie.

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The smartphone has a long history. In which the operating systems on which currently operate most equipment are only a small part. Long before iOS or Android, other systems brought to the public many functions considered indispensable today.

Nokia 9110

Nokia 9110

Nokia 9110 Communicator

The history of the smartphone is already long. The Nokia 9110 Communicator smartphone released in 1998 used the GEOS system, which has disappeared today. The brand’s latest smartphones run on Symbian and Windows Phone 7.

The 1990s, the beginnings of smartphone history

The wave of smartphones that arrived in 2007 with the first iPhone is therefore not the first to have existed.

The iPhone and its competitors were imagined from another generation of phones and PDAs, which they are commercially crushing today. Other devices have long borne this name. Offered very similar capabilities, running on operating systems still in circulation in 2012.

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The emblematic functions of the current smartphone. Such as the touch screen, Internet connection, GPS, or physical keyboard come directly from devices born in the 1990s.

Old mobile operating systems

Before the arrival of current smartphones, three systems dominated the world of “smartphones”: Symbian, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry OS.

Designed for small screens, they natively support touchscreen interfaces, even if they are designed for interactions with physical buttons. The primary utility was not yet Internet browsing but discussion, synchronous (instantaneous discussion), and above all asynchronous, mainly by e-mail.

The first phone presented as a smartphone, the Ericsson 380, was released in 2000. With a large, recoverable touchscreen with a keypad, this phone used the first version of Symbian.

Originally developed by Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, and Matsushita, the system was delivered without the interface, which was the responsibility of the manufacturers.

This OS is the emblem of Nokia phones, equipping in 2011 more than 200 million of its devices, in particular with the S60 and S80 interfaces. Symbian has allowed Nokia to experiment in many areas.

The N95, released in 2007, thus sported a 5 megapixel camera and for the first time HSDPA ( 3G +) connectivity, making it a complete all-rounder. The company acquired Symbian Ltd in 2008, before releasing the source code in 2009 and reverting to closed code in 2011.

 Palm Treo 750

The Palm Treo 750 is a Windows Mobile version 

For its part, Microsoft advocated another strategy. In 2001, the Sendo Z100, the first Windows Mobile smartphone, the advanced operating system of the Redmond firm, was released on the market. As on a PC, the company provides its system to manufacturers, who design their devices around this software base.

The History Of The Smartphone

Built around the Windows CE kernel (for PDA ), the system stood out for its application offering, its integration into the Microsoft universe, and the support of Exchange, the most widely used e-mail system in the business.

Dozens of models displayed the different versions of Windows Mobile, whose interface could be customized by the manufacturer. The main manufacturers of mobile phones (Acer, Asus, HTC, Motorola …) have created their own versions, to make it an almost universal system.

However, it will never achieve the success of its competitor Symbian, with barely 50 million mobile phones sold from 2000 to 2010, against four times more for the Nokia system.

Smartphones are invading the market

In 2011, nearly one in three phones sold worldwide was a smartphone. Of the 478 million devices passed, more than a quarter run on iOS and half on Android.

This to the detriment of previous systems for smartphones which targeted much more a professional audience and must now review their attractiveness for the general public, at the risk of disappearing.