The Evolution of Smartphones: 12 Key Highlights

Apr 25, 2016


Over the past 23 years, smartphones have changed the way we live our lives. From checking the weather to running a business, we often rely on these small powerful devices to complete our daily tasks with ease. Since their first introduction, smartphones have consistently evolved to meet our growing needs in the form of faster wireless connections, sharper images, and greater memory storage, just to name a few. Today, we salute the ever-changing smartphone and feature highlights to understand its transformation to this day.

Here are 12 key highlights in the evolution of smartphones:

Infographics: The Evolution of Smartphones

Mid 1995The term ‘smartphone' is first used but the original smartphone was introduced three years earlier
It was the Simon Personal Communicator by IBM created in 1992. This was the first phone to combine functionality from both a cell phone and PDA, listed with the price tag of $899. 1
July 1999Blackberry's first wireless handheld computer, RIM 850, is announced
The device garnered popularity in the business world with its ability to connect people to their corporate emails, address books, task lists, and calendars. 2
November 2000The camera phone launches in Japan
However, it failed to make a real impact. The Sharp J-SH04 never actually made it out of Japan and went rather unnoticed in the mobile market. 3
Late 2003The Nokia 1100 is released, and ultimately becomes the best-selling mobile phone of all time
With over 250 million units sold worldwide, the Nokia 1100 also went on to become the best selling consumer electronics device in the world, ever. 4
January 2007Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, unveils the iPhone
At the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs says it's “a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” The iPhone was officially released in the U.S. five months later in June. 5,6
July 2008The App Store launches with 552 apps
Most apps were priced either $1 or $10, with only 135 free apps available at the time. 7
November 2008The first-ever Android phone, the G1, is released
The device's carrier was T-Mobile and had a quirky design which included a ‘slide-out' keyboard. 6
April 2011Android becomes the world's most popular operating system
Capturing a 36.4% share of the OS market, Android tops the list for the first time. Symbian drops to second place with a 27.7% share. 8
December 2011Windows Mobile retires and Windows Phone is created instead
After finding challenges in competing with iPhone and Android, Microsoft decides to retire Windows Mobile and develop a completely new operating system. 6
January 2012Blackberry co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lizaridis, step down
The announcement signified the continuous downfall of the former tech titan, and came after what many considered Blackberry's worst year on record. 6,9
December 2013Smartphone shipments surpass 1 billion
The smartphone market broke a new record and shipped over 1 billion units in 2013, covering close to one-seventh of the world's population. 10
January 2016Samsung leads the smartphone vendor market for 16 consecutive quarters
With their momentum still in full-swing, Samsung continues to be the leading player in smartphone sales worldwide since 2012. 11

Similar to the evolution of smartphones, Flowfinity has grown continuously to meet the increasing demands of mobile adoption into our daily lives. Since 2000, when Flowfinity began with mobile forms on Blackberry devices, it has evolved into a cross-platform solution providing complete business process automation on mobile devices. To learn more about Flowfinity and how we can enhance your business with innovative mobile solutions, start your free trial today.

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