Evolution of Mobile Devices and Operating Systems

5.1 Introduction

Mobile devices with wireless network interfaces have gone through a tremendous evolution in recent years. From around 1992 to 2002 the main development goal was to make these devices smaller. While during that time the form factor of phones shrank considerably, voice telephony and SMS texting remained the only two real applications and overall functionality changed very little. By around 2002, technology had developed to a point where it became impractical to shrink phones any further from a usability point of view. The Panasonic GD55 is one of the smallest mobile phones ever produced, with a weight of just 65 g, and is smaller than a credit card [1]. Since then, development has concentrated on adding additional multimedia functionality to mobile devices. At first, black and white displays were replaced by color displays and display resolutions quickly rose from 100 × 64 pixels to 240 × 320 pixels, 480 × 320 pixels and even higher. Highresolution color displays are a prerequisite for all other functionalities that have been added to mobile phones since. These functionalities include cameras, multimedia messaging, e-mail and mobile Web browsing, just to name a few.

High-resolution color displays, high processing power with low power consumption and an increase in available resident memory and storage space have given rise to a number of other wireless mobile device categories:

  • Smartphones – a smartphone is a combination ...

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