Waleed AlZahrani

Brief on Smartphones - Waleed AlZahrani

Smartphones are one of the biggest leaps of the technological era that have changed people’s lives and ways of interaction. Smartphones are taking a huge part in today society’s needs and forms of communication and telecommunication. Smartphones have developed over the last decades to be one of the most dominant and used devices in the marketplace for many reasons.

Brief History of Smartphones.

Smartphones have been out there in the marketplace for almost a couple of decades and it has drastically become more reliable and efficient for many users due to the diverse types of smartphones available. The first idea or concept that led to the invention of a smartphone dates back to the 1970s; however, the real invention did not actually happen until IBM released the first prototype mobile phone (Simon) with PDA features (Personal Digital Assistance) back in 1992. This was the first step and the first device to be referred to as a smartphone, since it was able to send and receive text messages, calls, faxes and more other features. By the middle of the 1990s, there were several smartphones running on systems like Blackberry OS, Nokia, Palm OS and other systems that have made it to the market during that particular period of time. In 1999, a smartphone was released by Qualcomm called the PdQ smartphone that was featured with PDA and also internet connection capabilities. After the 1990s and going into the 21 st century smartphones have been competing in the marketplace and gained huge popularity among users and also manufacturers especially after Apple and Samsung have taken over.

Smartphone Sales.

Smartphones market share and size is pretty notable and has been gaining power steadily over the last 10 years. In 2007, the iPhone was developed to be a very good device in touch screen use and virtual keyboard which led the market to be exploded with the new iPhone. According to Statista, Apple alone has entered the marketplace with a number of 3.7 million iPhone sales in 2007. This number has been inevitably increasing over the quarters and years to be more than approximately 200 million iPhones sold per year. When it comes to Samsung they also had their fair share in the market when they first introduced the Samsung Galaxy S with astonishing number of sales. According to 9.3 million Galaxy devices were sold globally in 2010 and the South Korean company has mentioned that it has surpassed its expectations of selling 10 million devices by the end of 2010. This is an example to prove that Apple and Samsung have rejuvenated the marketplace with amazing portable touch screen devices that competed very well with other devices and corporations in the market and scored great numbers. There are other systems and smartphones that have competed in the marketplace and still striving and thriving such as HTC, LG, Blackberry, Nokia, Huawei, Oppo etc. However, nothing is taking over and dominating the market with undeniably continuous inventive smartphones nowadays more than Apple and Samsung.

Smartphones in the Marketplace.

The smartphone market or industry is very competitive and has been getting a little bit exclusive every day. Well, the history of smartphones market was less competitive and more of a new page in the market that has changed by the time goes. Nowadays, smartphones marketplace has overthrown many other electronic devices in the market and people started to replace PC’s, notebooks, desktops and other electronics that have been in the market with more smartphones. The worldwide smartphones market is growing continuously and it keeps growing with more innovative ideas and contributions to the marketplace. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) on smartphones that sales grew 1.1% year over a year in 2016Q3, with 363.2 million shipments. However, the marketplace has been recently dominated by Android in first place and it looks like IOS is hanging in there with little competition with Android and others like Windows smartphones. Android is dominating the smartphones marketplace in Asian countries and especially China with staggering percentage of 77% sales share. On the other hand, Apple is only 21.5% sales share that put them in second place in the Chinese market according to a study presented by Kantar Worldpanel. When it comes to the smartphones marketplace in the U.S we can say that the completion is very likely to be exclusive between Apple and Android. A study done in 2014 by Kantar Worldpanel indicates that the smartphones marketplace in the U.S is all about Apple and Android which leaves tiny shares of the market to other smartphones manufacturers like HTC, Windows and Blackberry. In 2015 these figures have changed and Apple has declined with its smartphones sales where Android had a percentage of 59.1% by the end of the year 2015. Apple also have gained more popularity and sales in the Chinese market when it had 21.5% of the market share in 2014 to 27.1% in 2015. Additionally, the completion never stops and more companies will get involved into the smartphone marketplace to create more and more completion with Apple and Android. For instance, China has been a taking a huge step into the smartphones industry with more available options and definitely with more competitiveness with other companies, and that and more other factors that made China one of the leading manufacturers in the smartphones industry.

Smartphone Milestones.

Many companies all over the world manufacture and produce cellphones and smartphones from the lowest to the highest quality. Quality and compatibility are main things in smartphones usage. From 2011 to current times, smartphones technology has become more advanced and continued to improve very fast. Smartphones nowadays are much more capable and have more features and technology more than ever. Touchscreen capabilities, GPS, Cameras, processors and even battery charging. In January 2007, Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone which he refers to as “revolutionary and magical product”. In April 2007, Gartner, a technology research company shares that Microsoft Windows Mobile has gained 18% of the smartphones market share. Additionally, in November that year Google has offered an Android operating system that will be free and anyone will be able to use it and change it. In 2008, Google announced that their iPhones summer quarter sales, saying that they had sold 4.7 million devices, granting Apple a 13% of the smartphone industry. Then in November the G1 came out and it was the first Android launched with sliding keyboard and limited touchscreen capabilities. By December, Microsoft has stopped Windows Mobile after they realized they could not compete with Apple and Android. In 2010. Apple takes the lead to be become the largest smartphones vendor, and Android becomes the highest selling smartphone platform.

Future of Smartphones.

The future of the smartphones industry is very ambiguous for many and obvious or easy to predict for a few. When we look at Apple and Samsung, the two companies’ smartphones in the last decades have been changing and revolving with many features accommodating to the user’s needs. Apple for example has changed the iPhone screens size for every version that comes out each year. Along with processors and better camera resolutions Apple tends to focus on the screen size more and more. The same way applies to Samsung when they increased the Galaxy screen size and made it taller after 2010 when the first Galaxy came out. The future of smartphones is always evolving and basically computers from smallest to largest throughout time concentrate on speed, quality and less cost. This is the same method the smartphones industry is focusing on, and with absolutely taller and bigger screens. LG smartphones are also concentrating on the value of taller and bigger screens, when LG proved that taller screens are the future of smartphones according to Mobile World Congress 2017. The smartphones industry is one of the biggest industries in the marketplace when it had nothing to compete with back in the day. The industry has thrived and dominated the marketplace gradually by the late 1990s. Smartphones have really changed the way of people’s forms of communication with unlimited creativity, ingenuity and consistency to be an industry that attracts users more than any industry in the marketplace. The smartphone industry will keep writing history and involve more users to the industry in the future, until the marketplace comes up with a new approach to the technological world in a new era.