A global smartphone is a personal communication device with worldwide capabilities. The smart phone itself is a handheld communicator with models offered by several different telecommunications companies. The global smartphone contains abilities far beyond the original telephone concept of making and receiving voice transmissions.
The word “global” in the phrase “global smartphone” means that the instrument can be used nearly any place in the world. In their advertising, telecommunications companies often site the number of countries in which their global smartphones can send and receive data. The number of countries range from 150 to 200.
IBM® first developed smartphones in 1992. That first smartphone, while far more complex than a regular cell phone, still had few advanced qualities compared to today’s global smartphones. RIM® released the BlackBerry® smartphone in 2001, and it could be said that RIM® launched modern global smartphone technology. Among other attributes, the BlackBerry® was the first smartphone designed for wireless email use.
While there is no clear benchmark definition for all global smartphones, they do share certain basic attributes. These attributes include: worldwide operation, sending and receiving telephone calls and text messages, a miniature QWERTY keyboard, full email capabilities, a personal organizer, a camera, navigation hardware and software, software for viewing video clips or playing music, viewing photos, internet browsers, and contact list storage as large as available memory permits.
Communication devices known as global smartphones all use an open operating system. The open operating system (OS) gives the device the ability to add applications to the global smartphone to access games, enhanced data processing, word processing, etc. The open operating system, in contrast to the closed operating system used for land line and regular cell phones, turns the smartphone into a miniature personal computer able to use add-on applications from the manufacturer of the device, a network operator, or any other third-party software system developer.
There are several open operating systems used by global smartphone developers on the market today. Symbian OS, Symbian Limited's Nokia®, probably has the largest share of the world market, followed by iPhone™ OS from Apple Inc., and RIM's® Blackberry®. Other well known manufacturers such as Windows Mobile®, Linux®, Android™ from Google®, and Palm® OS, developed by PalmSource, all offer global smartphone operating systems to consumers.
A global smartphone makes it possible to stay in nearly constant communication with business colleagues, an office PC or family members from almost anywhere in the world.