A brief history of smartphones

How the smartphone went from a high-end enterprise device to an everyday consumer staple

It's been three years since Apple brought the smartphone to a mass consumer market, but smartphones have actually been around in one form or another since 1993. The difference between then and now is that early smartphones were primarily used as enterprise devices and were prohibitively expensive for most consumers. But with the enormous success of the iPhone, carriers have discovered that they can lock in customers for long periods of time by heavily subsidizing their purchases of the latest and hottest smartphones. In this slideshow we'll track the evolution of the smartphone, from its humble beginnings as a clunky monochrome device to today's sleek multimedia devices capable of supporting HD video.

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Republished with permission from Network World (view original version)

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