A smartphone is a mobile phone (also known as a “cellular phone,” “ cell phone” and a “hand phone”), a device that can make and receive telephone call over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area; built on a mobile operating system, also referred to as “mobile OS,” the operating system that operates a smartphone, tablet, PDA, or other digital mobile devices. It has more advanced computing capability and connectivity than a feature phone, a mobile phone which at the time of manufacture is not considered to be a smartphone due to its lacking in several features, but nevertheless has additional functions over and above standard mobile devices.
The first smartphones combined the functions of a personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a “palmtop computer,” a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. Later models added the functionality of portable media players (“PMP”) or digital audio players (“DAP”), a consumer electronics device that is capable of storing and playing digital media such as audio, images, video, documents, etc.; low-end compact (point-and-shoot) digital cameras (“digicam), a still camera that takes the video or still photographs by recording images on an electronic image sensor, designed primarily for simple operation; pocket video cameras, a tapeless camcorder that is small enough to be carried in one’s pocket; and GPS phones’ navigation units (due in part to regulations encouraging mobile phone tracking, including E911, with varying degrees and user capability, to form one multi-use device.
Many modern smartphones also include high-resolution touch screens, an electronic visual display that can detect the presence and location of a touch within the display area, and web browsers, a software application for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web–displaying standard web pages, as well as mobile-optimized sites. High-speed data access is provided by Wi-Fi and Mobile Broadband, a popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly (using radio waves) over a computer network, including high-speed Internet connections; and Mobile Broadband, the marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, mobile phone, USB wireless modem, or other mobile devices.
The mobile operating systems (OS) used by modern smartphones include: Android, a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, by Google, Inc., an American multinational corporation which provides Internet-related [rodicuts and services, including internet search, cloud computing, software and advertising techniques; iOS (previously “iPhone OS”), a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc., formerly “Apple Computer, Inc., an American multinational corporation headquartered in Cupertino, California that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers; Symbian, a mobile operating system and computing platform designed for smartphones and currently maintained by Accenture, by Nokia Oyj, a Finnish multinational communications and information technology corporation headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, Finland; Blackberry OS, a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Research In Motion Limited (“RIM”), a Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company best known as the developer of the Blackberry line of smartphone and tablet handheld devices, Bada, an operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, by the Samsung Group, a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul; Windows Phone, a daily of mobile operating systems developed by the Microsoft Corporation–an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington that develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of products and services related to computing–and its successor to its Windows Mobile platform, although incompatible with it; HP webOS, formerly “Palm webOS” or simply webOS, a mobile operating system based on a Linux kernel, initially developed by Palm, which was later acquired by Hewlett-Packard Company, an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States; and embedded Linux distributions, or the use of Linux in embedded computer systems such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDA), media players, set-top boxes, and other consumer electronics devices, networking equipment, machine control, industrial automation, navigation equipment and medical instruments, such as Maemo, a software platform developed by Nokia and improved upon by the Maemo community for smartphones and Internet tablets, and MeeGo, a Linux-based free mobile operating system project.
Such operating system can be installed in many different phone models, and typically each device can receive multiple OS software updates over its lifetime.