WHAT WERE MOBILES LIKE BEFORE SMARTPHONES?
The smartphone has changed the way we live, and it’s hard to imagine a time when we had different devices for all the functions our phones can now fulfill.
But smartphones emerged as the dominant personal accessory and business tool from the convergence of two different products.
In the 1990s, consumers had a choice between mobile phones on which they could talk and send texts, or personal organisers to conduct business on the move.
The costs of owning a mobile phone and paying for calls had fallen dramatically as more networks entered the market, affordable pay-as-you-go contracts became available, and the phones themselves became more competitively priced.
By the end of the 1990s, teenagers were adopting them as enthusiastically as they had previously embraced other portable devices such as personal stereos. Constantly hungry for the latest version, they greeted the first phones with integral cameras with delight.
Now they could not only take a picture, but also send it to their friends attached toa text message. Phones that could store and play music were a successful next step.Meanwhile, the business community adopted products such as the Psion Organiser or Palm Pilot (collectively known as PDAs, or Personal Digital AAssistants). These provided, in one convenient pocket-sized package, calendars, calculators, spreadsheets, notepads and other business applications.