Monday, July 25, 2011

Smartphones... Are They Worth It?

Note: All dates and time lines are approximations.

I remember when cell phones were nonexistent. All we had were landlines. If you needed to get in touch with someone, you actually had to leave a message and wait for a phone call back. If they didn't have a message machine, you'd have to call constantly.

We developed cell phones. Not many people got them when they first came out to market. Only the people with dire need had them; doctors is one example. Then it finally picked up by the mass. The phones were huge at first. They eventually went smaller.

In the early 80s, 2 companies decided to create a new type of cell phone. A company named Palm came out with a digital personal management system called Palm Pilots. They eventually produced the phone integration into the hardware. And Microsoft created a mobile operating system called Windows Mobile. These phones are 2 distinct phones but with the same goal; personal management.

As phones were getting smaller, becoming flip tops and had some color graphics, MS and Palm phones stayed a bit big. This device you could store your address book, calendar and many different applications to make your life a bit easier. These 2 companies started the smartphone growth. Then came the Blackberry by a company called Research In Motion. RIM made their debut as a smartphone for the enterprise. They only provided for companies and their employees. The phone was able to sync with companies exchange server. They really brought email to the forefront of smartphones. Eventually RIM just catered to the masses. MS and Palm stepped up their game too.
In the marketplace you had people claiming allegiance to different smartphones. Some people were die hard Palm people and, even to this day, there die hard BB people. BB had the controlling share of smartphones. Whereas, MS were the lowest of all 3.

Jump ahead to the mid 2000s, a little company with support from T-Mobile launched a phone called the G1. It ran an OS called Android 1. The phone did moderately well. Not enough to make much of an impact. A year or so later, Apple decided to join the ranks. They came out with the iPhone with exclusivity to AT&T. The phone made all the other smartphone companies take notice. It sold extremely well. It surpassed MS phones, came around even with Palm but could not touch RIM.

Every company went back to the drawing boards to come out with something new, more innovative and much more functional. More versions of all the phones come out. When Apple hit the market with the iPhone 3, they blew everyone out of the market except for RIM. Shortly before that launch, Google acquired he little company that produced Android. They released a phone to developers and people who can afford an unsubsidized phone called the Nexus. You would have to purchase it directly from Google. The phone was well received.

Right after the iPhone 3 launch, Verizon launched the Droid. All the commercials called it an iPhone killer. This Droid had a better developed Android OS. Let the smartphone war begin!!!! This is where all the companies are fighting for marketshare. What happened to the regular cell phones? They are still around. There's still a need for them.

Now a lot of manufacturers are putting out affordable Android devices. Apple came out with 2 new versions; iPhone 3GS then the 4. RIM puts out different but the same devices. MS was late in the game for putting out a new or updated platform until a bit too late in the war. Palm was acquires by HP and now they are trying to bring in a new phone and updated OS. So far the marketshare is as follows (by OS):
#1 Android
#2 iOS
#3 BB
#4 Windows
#5 webOS

Personally, I moved from A Windows Mobile Phone to an iPhone 3GS. I am very happy with my choice. It is practically attached to me. I do so much with it, like writing and then posting this post online. I have not tried an Android phone yet, but I will soon. I am interested in how different the 2 systems compare.

As technology advances, I expect to see much more phones that will make life so much easier. That in itself is another post. Let the battle continue.....

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