The Evolution Of Smartphone Design
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The tele-phone, the organic version came about over a century ago when a Mr. Alexander Graham Bell blessed with his ingenious invention. The way we communicate has changed tremendously from that day onwards.

The primitive versions of this device were overly simplistic but that was an idea that sparked off many innovations that came about in this field. Today’s telephonic devices have nothing in common with those instruments except the basic underlying concept. The phone has come a long long way since.

I remember the times about only 25 years ago when not every household had a phone connection. It was an industry still under the management of the government and unsurprisingly, closed and inefficient.

Everything just changed one fine day when the mobile telephone device was launched. This wireless little (then not as little as we know it today) instrument that could be carried anywhere and everywhere and still be reachable by anyone who could dial your number. The initial tariff plans were highly steep but when the incoming calls on the mobile phones became free of charge, the whole scenario just changed. This was just only about 10 years ago, in the vicinity of 2003.

Cut to 2014, we are regularly making video calls to anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. Last year we saw Apple coming out with their iPhone 5S model that has been lauded as the ultimate smart phone technology ever made. To give you an insight into the technological advancement, the phone comes with a fingerprint scan and unlock feature which means your phone recognizes your finger/thumb print and unlocks when you press it for more than a second. This conveniently does away with punching in the pass code every time and moreover, no one else but you can unlock this baby. If you think about it, even your bank lockers do not come with this level of elegant safety but then again in today’s environment an identity theft is more likely to happen and is way more threatening than loss of a few valuables.

So let’s look at how far we’ve come in the last ten years and how the evolution of these devices have completely changed the communication landscape of us millennials-

The first ever mobile communication device was introduced by the computer company IBM in 1993 called the IBM Simon. Notice how I say communication device and not phone because it only supported faxing and paging and looked bigger than a walkie-talkie. The real deal phone devices came about later in the early 2000’s with the launch of Nokia communicator that the early technology adopters started breaking the bank to own and use this fascinating new device.

During this time, the industry opened up, many new players like Blackberry came in with their revolutionary email access system that still plagues (or enhances, depends how you look at it) corporate slavery. Nokia was a major player in the market and had a device called N95 that ran on its Symbian OS. It wasn’t until 2007 when Steve Jobs launched the very first iPhone, 5 years ahead of all mobile devices in the market as stated by him that the landscape of the evolution of this device changed forever.

With the new touchscreen technology and a massive App Store, this device opened the doors to a whole new range of possibilities. No wonder that it was and still is, the most expensive smartphone in the market.

Not much later than the introduction of the first iPhone, in late 2007 tech giant Google launched its first Android operating system for smart phones which is an open-source operating system which is backed by many hardware developers and today the biggest competition for Apple’s iOS. Around the same time, Microsoft unveiled the Window’s Mobile.

Out of the major players at the time: iOS, Android, Windows, Symbian and Blackberry smartphones, it is only the first two that remain a major players in the market today. In 2008, HTC became the first manufacturer to make Android phones with the backing of Google. Since then, the OS got a lot of patronage from other manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola and many more.

Between hardware, the fight for the bigger market share remains between Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy series. It is no secret that Apple only caters to a more elite and distinguished market than the other smartphone manufacturers that aim to offer something for everyone. Plus, even as software support, Android offers many more applications and open sharing opportunities than the restrictive iOS. Hence, over time Apple has lost major market share to Android devices and particularly Samsung, which has a whole range of smartphones at every price point. This also sparked off a major lawsuit that was slapped by Apple on Samsung over patent infringement. This resulted in Samsung paying off Apple over $1 billion in damages.

However, this also made Apple realize the potential of the tier 2 market in the smartphone industry. Perhaps that sentiment led to the launch of two segments of iPhones being launched in 2013: the 5S and 5C. The 5C, a cheaper and plastic-y version of the 5S is aimed at the younger and aspirational lot of the market that still covets the best smartphone technology yet does not have the deep enough pockets. However the pricing does not seem to match the positioning. Even with this version, the company seems to retain the elite tag that remains its brand identity.

They say that the mobile technology is the fastest growing technology in history and with the advent of newer devices like tablets and smart watches, one can’t even imagine the newer horizons that it will touch in the near future. Keep watching this space for more.