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The Emergence of the Smartphone

Since their explosion in popularity, cell phones have become increasingly more feature-rich and sophisticated, with enough features to supplement, or even replace, other devices such as media players, digital cameras, and PDAs. On the leading edge of this technological advancement in the smartphone, a device that blurs the line between a cell phone and a PDA.

Smartphone: Changing Definitions

By definition, a smartphone is a mobile phone that incorporates a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). A PDA is a miniature, hand-held device that replicates key features of a personal computer, most notably document viewing, task and contact management, and Internet access. A smartphone, while possibly sharing many of these features, is still primarily a “voice-centric” device, while a PDA is, by nature, “cmhk 上台優惠 data-centric.” Rather than one device replacing the other, PDAs and smartphones have often developed in tandem, with PDAs taking on more voice-centric aspects, and smartphones including features previously limited to PDAs.

Most contemporary smartphones include Internet and e-mail access, scheduling or PIM software, contact management, and the ability to read (and sometimes compose) document formats such as Word, Excel and PDF. Many smartphones also feature built-in cameras, music players, and GPS navigation software, making them an excellent all-in-one replacement for a variety of other devices. As cell phone technology continues to develop, many features previously isolated to smartphones become common in mid-range cell phones. As such, the definition of what precisely constitutes a “smartphone” is constantly evolving.

Pricing and services for various smartphones will, of course, vary by carrier. If you have a Verizon smartphone, for example, the Blackberry Voice & Data Core Choice Bundle from Verizon Wireless offers 450 minutes of voice time, with unlimited nights and weekends and virtually unlimited Internet data usage (Web browsing, email, and instant messaging) for $79.99 a month. On the other hand, Cingular’s Good Mobile Messaging Smartphone Connect service, which is offered separately from its basic voice services, offers unlimited data usage within its coverage area for $34.99 a month. Add this to Cingular’s 450-minute basic voice package ($39.99 a month) and it comes out to a very competitive $75 a month from Cingular.

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