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A mobile phone is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Most modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture, and, therefore, mobile telephones are often also called cellular telephones or cell phones. In addition to telephony, 2000s-era mobile phones support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming, and digital photography. Mobile phones which offer these and more general computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.
The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing c. 4.4 lbs (2 kg). In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew to over seven billion, penetrating 100% of the global population and reaching even the bottom of the economic pyramid. In first quarter of 2016, the top smartphone manufacturers were Samsung, Apple, and Huawei (and "[s]martphone sales represented 78 percent of total mobile phone sales").
|Market share of top-five worldwide mobile phone vendors, Q2 2016
||Strategy Analytics report
- Kosher phone
- A battery, providing the power source for the phone functions.
- An input mechanism to allow the user to interact with the phone. These are a keypad for feature phones and touch screens for most smartphones.
- A screen which echoes the user's typing displays text messages, contacts, and more.
- Basic mobile phone services to allow users to make calls and send text messages.
- All GSM phones use a SIM card to allow an account to be swapped among devices. Some CDMA devices also have a similar card called an R-UIM.
- Individual GSM, WCDMA, iDEN and some satellite phone devices are uniquely identified by an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
- Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors
- A study by Motorola found that one in ten mobile phone subscribers have a second phone that is often kept secret from other family members. These phones may be used to engage in such activities as extramarital affairs or clandestine business dealings.
- Some organizations assist victims of domestic violence by providing mobile phones for use in emergencies. These are often refurbished phones.
- The advent of widespread text-messaging has resulted in the cell phone novel, the first literary genre to emerge from the cellular age, via text messaging to a website that collects the novels as a whole.
Mobile telephony also facilitates activism and public journalism being explored by Reuters and Yahoo! and small independent news companies such as Jasmine News in Sri Lanka.
- The United Nations reported that mobile phones have spread faster than any other form of technology and can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries, by providing access to information in places where landlines or the Internet are not available, especially in the least developed countries. Use of mobile phones also spawns a wealth of micro-enterprises, by providing such work as selling airtime on the streets and repairing or refurbishing handsets.
- In Mali and other African countries, people used to travel from village to village to let friends and relatives know about weddings, births, and other events. This can now be avoided in areas with mobile phone coverage, which are usually more extensive than areas with just land line penetration.
- The TV industry has recently started using mobile phones to drive live TV viewing through mobile apps, advertising, social TV, and mobile TV. It is estimated that 86% of Americans use their mobile phone while watching TV.
- In some parts of the world, mobile phone sharing is common. It is prevalent in urban India, as families and groups of friends often share one or more mobile phones among their members. There are obvious economic benefits, but often familial customs and traditional gender roles play a part. It is common for a village to have access to only one mobile phone, perhaps owned by a teacher or missionary, which is available to all members of the village for necessary calls.
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