Cell phones have come a long way since the early days of the 1980s when they were the size of a brick and weighed almost as much. Today, cellular phones come with built-in cameras, polyphonic ringtones, and high-tech games. New "3G" mobile phones are also capable of downloading full motion video and full spectrum music. Whereas there were only a few manufacturers of cell phones in the 1980s, today there are many. In addition to original manufacturers such as Motorola and Siemens, today phones are manufactured by Sony-Ericsson, LG, Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi, Danger, Palm, HP and others.
As wireless cell phone use increases around the globe, the old CDMA and TDMA standards are being replaced with GSM, the global standard outside of North America. Relatively new mobile phone companies such as Vodafone and T-Mobile in Germany and NTT DoCoMo in Japan have taken advantage of increased cell phone use by expanding their mobile phone offerings and plans world-wide. Also, traditional computer companies are moving or have moved into the cell phone industry-PalmOne manufactures the Treo 650, HP is coming out with its own smartphone PDA and Microsoft powers the operating systems of many of the newest cell phones on the market.
In addition to being used as a method of wireless voice communication, cell phones have within the last decade morphed into mobile computing platforms. These new cell phones are powerful enough to power many applications that only a few years ago required one to be stationed at a desktop computer.
Concurrent with technological innovation and increased adoption worldwide, prices for both hardware and service plans have dropped steadily over the last decade. Whereas only a few years ago most cell phone service providers required 3 year contracts with heavy penalties for early cancellation, now one can get a free state-of-the-art phone with only a one year contract.
Beyond the cell phone hardware, whole new industries have sprung up catering to the needs of cell phone users who demand accessories such as cell phone covers, screen-savers, and ring tones. As well, SMS (simple messenging system) and MMS (multimedia messenging system) lingo is slowly entering the cell phone society vernacular. Use of shorthand abbreviations such as LOL (laughing out loud), SWAK (sealed with a kiss) and G2G (got to go) has become second nature to teenagers who are the main users of phone messenging globally.
© 2006Philip Liu - All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Philip Liu is a freelance author and publisher currently based in New York City. Philip publishes regularly on his websites, Cell Phone News + Reviews (focusing on cell phone news, rumors and reviews from around the world), and DTVScoop - Plasma, LCD Reviews + News (focusing on digital television news and reviews).