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A smartphone is a mobile phone that includes advanced functionality beyond making phone calls and sending text messages. Most smartphones have the capability to display photos, play videos, check and send e-mail, and surf the Web. Modern smartphones, such as the iPhone and Android based phones can run third-party applications, which provides limitless functionality.

While smartphones were initially used mostly by business users, they have become a common choice for consumers as well. Thanks to advancements in technology, modern smartphones are smaller and cheaper than earlier devices. Users also have a much wider range of smartphones to choose from than before. While the RIM Blackberry dominated the smartphone market for many years, other manufacturers like Apple, HTC, and Samsung now offer a wide variety of smartphone options as well. This increase in smartphone availability has led to a corresponding decline in the usage of standard PDAs, which do not include phone capabilities.

Since smartphones have a wide range of functionality, they require advanced software, similar to a computer operating system. The smartphone software handles phone calls, runs applications, and provides configuration options for the user. Most smartphones include a USB connection, which allows users to sync data with their computers and update their smartphone software.

Updated: July 30, 2010

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