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Share of 2010 Q1 smartphone shipments by operating system, by Gartner.[1]

A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a basic ‘feature phone’.[2] While some feature phones are able to run simple applications based on generic platforms such as Java ME or BREW,[3] a smartphone allows the user to install and run much more advanced applications based on a specific platform. Smartphones run complete operating system software providing a platform for application developers.[4]

Growth in demand for advanced mobile devices boasting powerful processors, abundant memory, larger screens and open operating systems has outpaced the rest of the mobile phone market for several years.[5] According to a study by ComScore, in 2010, over 45.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones and it is the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market, which comprised of 234 million subscribers in the United States.[6]

Operating systems

Operating systems that can be found on smartphones include Symbian (including S60 series), iPhone OS, , Palm WebOS, BlackBerry OS, Samsung bada, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, Windows Mobile, Android and Maemo. WebOS, Android and Maemo are built on top of Linux, and the iPhone OS is derived from the BSD and NeXTSTEP operating systems, which all are related to Unix.


A smartbook is a concept of a mobile device that falls between smartphones and netbooks, delivering features typically found in smartphones (always on, all-day battery life, 3G connectivity, GPS)[7] in a slightly larger device with a full keyboard. Smartbooks will tend to be designed to work with online applications.[8]

Smartbooks use the ARM processor, which gives them much greater battery life than a netbook which uses a traditional Intel x86 processor.[9] They are likely to be sold initially through mobile network operators, like mobile phones are today, along with a wireless data plan.[10]

Open source development

The open source culture has penetrated the smartphone market in a way. There have been attempts to open source both hardware and software of a smartphone. Most notable project from open hardware development is most likely the Neo FreeRunner smartphone developed by Openmoko. Lately, the Google Android OS is a popular open source mobile operating system. Nokia has an initiative around Symbian too, which has open-sourced all Symbian smartphone code in February 2010.[11] In cooperation with Intel, Nokia also develops the open source MeeGo operating system.


  1. ^ “Google Android smacks down Windows Mobile in latest Gartner data”. Press release. 19 May 2010.
  2. ^ Andrew Nusca (20 August 2009). “Smartphone vs. feature phone arms race heats up; which did you buy?”. ZDNet.
  3. ^ “Feature Phone”. Phone Scoop.
  4. ^ “Smartphone definition from PC Magazine Encyclopedia”. PC Magazine.
  5. ^ “Smart phones: how to stay clever in downturn”. Deloitte Telecommunications Predictions.
  6. ^ “Android Phones Steal Market Share”.
  7. ^ http://www.eetimes.eu/design/217700855
  8. ^ Schofield, Jack (29 July 2009). “The smartbook has been waiting 28 years to be the next best thing”. The Guardian (London).
  9. ^ Scott Stein (10 January 2010). “CES: What, exactly, is a smartbook? Highlights from the show floor”. cnet.
  10. ^ Ganapat, Priya (2008-12-15). “The Next Netbook Trend: Cellphone-Like Contract Deals” – Wired News.
  11. ^ http://www.watblog.com/2010/02/06/symbian-os-now-fully-open-source/


  • freesmartphone.org – a collaboration platform for open source smartphones
  • Smart mobile phone emulator

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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