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Nowadays in the developed world, almost everyone has a smartphone with which people stay connected: we communicate between themselves, we control work e-mail, personal e-mail, and we have multiple calendars and reminders of birthdays, work meetings, doctor appointments and stuff.
We are online 24h of our time, we share our thoughts, pictures or videos on Facebook, twitter, or other social networks. We look for jobs through LinkedIn through the screen of our smartphone. We can watch TV-series’ episodes on our smartphones without downloading the file, just by streaming the data from the cloud. We can book flights, restaurants, hotels, everything through the Internet on our smartphone. If we get lost on the road, we can use our smartphone to guide us back home or to take us to our destination.
Few years ago, in the 1980s, this was not like this. Few years ago, you could not read the news anywhere other than in a newspaper, you could not book flights or hotels unless you went to a travel agency and if you wanted to keep track and not miss any meetings or birthdays, you had to write everything on an agenda (and check it every day to know what you had to do). Even when the Internet became mainstream and available to the majority of society, you had to be in front of a computer to do some of this things.
So, what happened in order for us to be able to do all this things mentioned before, on the go, virtually anywhere? The smartphone boom explains this as it has given society, and more specifically, smartphone owners, lots of capabilities at the reach of the hand no matter where you physically are. But, what is a smartphone? How has it evolved in the years that the concept has existed?
Even though there had been research for a while and some concepts appeared before Apple’s smartphone, the company from Cupertino changed the rules of the game. When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in June 2007, people divided into the ones seeing the potential and great achievements by the people from Apple and the ones that believed it was going to be a failure in the market. Actually, none of the concepts unveiled by Jobs when announcing the iPhone were completely new: touchscreens had been known for some time and other manufacturers were using it in their products (or not used because it was believed not to be a success as Nokia seemed to think).
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