Smartphones are mobile phones with additional advanced computing capabilities, distinguishing them from standard feature phones. Smartphones have the ability to run more complicated applications than feature phones and often run on open operating systems, possess stronger processers, have greater storage capabilities and feature larger screens. The first Smartphone, as reported in USA Today, the IBM Simon, was sold by BellSouth in 1992 and included a calendar, a note pad, games, and allowed the user to email and fax. The IBM Simon was also the first phone to use touch screen technology. In 1997, Ericsson produced the GS88, the first phone to be called a “Smartphone.” Since the 90s, the smartphone market has changed dramatically. As of 2010, Smartphones now make up 20 percent of the handset market, with global Smartphone shipments increasing by a whopping 74 percent from 2009 to 2010. Smartphone revenues reached $99 billion in 2010, accord to a report from Strategy Analytics. Apple, Nokia, and Research in Motion (RIM) cashed in, with Apple in the lead, commanding 29 percent of the total market revenue. According to a report by Canalys, 97 percent of Smartphones on the market run on operating systems produced by Android, Symbian, Apple, RIM, or Windows Mobile. Only 3 percent of Smartphones run on alternate operating systems. The most popular smart phones on the market currently include Apple’s iPhone 4, Motorola’s Droid 2 and Droid X, HTC’s EVO 4G and  Droid Incredible, and RIM’s BlackBerry Torch, BlackBerry Bold, and BlackBery Curve.

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FreedomPop launches its own branded $89 Android phablet, targets low-cost device market

Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is launching its own branded tablets and soon a smartphone for under $100, hoping that the low-cost devices will help drive subscriber growth. The company is still going to support devices from branded OEMs like Samsung Electronics, but is working with contract manufacturers on its own devices, which could help build up its brand.

AT&T: Next upgrade plans powered half of all smartphone sales in Q3

In an SEC filing AT&T said it expects total AT&T Next adoption rates to be around 50 percent in the third quarter and to have more than 400,000 postpaid smartphone gross additions from customers who brought their own phones.

Microsoft scores 50 new device partners after making Windows free for smaller devices

Microsoft has attracted 50 new hardware partners that are making Windows-based smartphones and tablets, a senior executive said. The influx in partners comes after the company decided in April that it would make Windows free for devices with screens smaller than nine inches.

Google's Project Ara will let users swap out modules as needed

Google's Project Ara, which is focusing on creating modular-designed smartphones, will come with specialized software that lets users swap out nearly all hardware modules, according to Paul Eremenko, the head of Project Ara within Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group.

Broadcom sees future in Wi-Fi chipsets for smartphones despite baseband exit

Even though Broadcom is exiting the cellular baseband market, CEO Scott McGregor thinks the company will have a secure place in high-end smartphones thanks to its Wi-Fi chipsets.

Mallinson: Nokia, BlackBerry left behind amid untold disruption of the smartphone revolution

The smartphone revolution has greatly expanded the size of the handset market with global revenues doubling in the last six years, as consumers substitute more expensive smartphones for their feature phones and basic phones. Yet changes have devastated most of the leading incumbent handset vendors.

BlackBerry launches new Passport smartphone through AT&T, hopes to win back enterprise customers

BlackBerry  officially unveiled its first new, major smartphone since 2013, the Passport, and said that the square device aimed at business users will be available through AT&T Mobility. However, BlackBerry did not announce any other U.S. carrier partners for the device, which could limit U.S. sales.

Samsung expects mobile biz to recover quickly, plans second developer conference

Samsung Electronics expects its mobile business to bounce back in the months ahead, a top company executive said, especially with the launch of its latest flagship phablet device, the Galaxy Note 4. Meanwhile, even as the conglomerate shifts software engineers from its mobile unit to other parts of the company, the world's largest smartphone maker is gearing up for its second annual developer conference this fall.

Qualcomm SDK aims to boost LTE Multicast development

Qualcomm unveiled a software-development toolkit (SDK) during its annual Uplinq developers conference that enables developers to take advantage of LTE Multicast technology. The SDK for LTE Multicast, also called LTE Broadcast, will provide developers with a common API that can be used in all regions around the world that are trialing, testing or deploying the technology.

Qualcomm touts LTE Broadcast software at Uplinq conference, sidesteps China issues

Qualcomm unveiled a software toolkit at its annual Uplinq developers conference that enables developers take advantage of LTE Broadcast technology, and it got a vote of confidence on the technology from Facebook. However, the company stayed mum on its troubles in China, where it is still the focus of an antitrust probe.