Unlike a computer, which has only a limited set of features, a smartphone is designed to do many things at once. In 1993, BellSouth sold IBM’s first smartphone, which included a touchscreen interface, calendar, address book, and calculator. As the cost of integrated circuits and solid-state computer memory fell, smartphones became more affordable. Today, smartphones can do nearly everything a person needs from a mobile phone, and the number of applications available to consumers continues to rise.
The touchscreen is one of the most important features of smartphones, filling up much of the front surface. Smartphone displays generally have an aspect ratio of 16:9, though taller phones are becoming more common. Many advertising campaigns focus on the camera quality and capabilities. However, the screen is not the only feature consumers love. A smartphone’s battery life is also important. Many consumers prefer a smartphone with the most battery life, despite the high price tag.
Until recent years, most smartphones featured a physical QWERTY keyboard. Some smartphones were clamshell devices with physical QWERTY keyboards. The BlackBerry line and Windows Mobile smartphones used a keyboard bar form factor. Nokia’s Danger Hiptop line hid a full physical QWERTY keyboard beneath a sliding form factor. Other early smartphones included a numeric keypad for T9 text input, but the palm Treo dropped handwriting input after the first models.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and the cost of a smartphone can seem prohibitive. But with technology improving at a rapid pace and the costs of component production rising, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. This will help you understand how to make a smartphone affordable. There are three key areas to look at to reduce the cost of a smartphone:
First, consider the cost of developing new software. Companies have to pay software developers for licenses. And of course, the costs of acquiring the latest smartphones are rising, as the cost of manufacturing these devices is rising. Smartphone manufacturing is a global industry, and companies like Apple must pay taxes in different countries. In the past three years, Apple reported paying $1.5 billion in taxes in Ireland. Its costs are now over $35 billion worldwide. This means that a smartphone that costs $400 will likely cost upwards of $1000.
The growing popularity of Smartphones has led to a variety of mobile operating systems. These small hand held devices have become an integral part of our lives, enabling us to access a wealth of online services and apps. Smartphone makers compete for features like storage, processor speed, platform compatibility, and camera megapixels, but their biggest divergence is in their mobile operating systems. To help you choose the right one, we’ve evaluated popular smartphone Operating Systems based on the privacy and accessibility of their users.
Mobile OSes rely on mobile hardware to deliver various features to the user. In addition to operating systems, they can connect to the internet through the built-in modem or wireless service provider. This differs from most desktop OSes, which rely on an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection to access the internet. Some smartphones have built-in GPS capabilities, making it possible to use the device for navigation. In addition to these features, most mobile OSes offer an application store where users can download mobile applications.
The NCSC report, Apps in the public domain: How apps can pose a cyber threat to smartphone users, identifies some shortcomings in current app vetting processes. It also highlights that mobile app stores are among the most targeted by attackers and cybercriminals, given the high number of users and amount of data that can be stored on modern smartphones. As a result, users of third-party mobile app stores are especially vulnerable, as these stores are not required to adhere to strict vetting processes.
Chinese mobile network operators have operated their own app stores for years, but many have closed. In recent years, the major Chinese mobile network operators, such as Aircel, have stepped up their efforts to develop their own platforms. The most popular app stores include MTNPlay, which caters to a wide variety of mobile phone users in Africa, and Airtel Sri Lanka, which has a focus on Android. Meanwhile, the TIM Store, one of the leading mobile phone operators in Italy, is the largest app store in the country, with both free and paid applications available.
While location tracking on smartphones is crucial for getting directions, the real use of this information comes from big tech. Companies want to flood you with ads and use this information to power their data-mining machines. Although you’ve presumably given your consent, you may not even be aware that it is being used. Typical data sharing policies are hidden deep within privacy policies or terms of service agreements. Luckily, the NSA’s guidance makes it easy to reduce smartphone tracking.
Apple and Google both allow location tracking on their devices, although they aren’t quite as aggressive about it. Google, for instance, uses the location data gathered by its apps to provide them with services that you might be interested in. If you don’t trust the manufacturer of your phone, you can block its location-tracking features. You can also turn off location-tracking completely on your phone. In many cases, this won’t affect your location.