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Definitions Edit

A smartphone is

essentially [a] computer[] integrated with radio components in a small package.[1]
a mobile phone that has advanced capabilities beyond a typical mobile phone, often with PC-like functionality. Smartphones have allowed millions of Americans to use mobile e-mail, browse the Internet on-the-go, and — more recently — to use hundreds of thousands of mobile applications that did not exist a few years ago.
[a] mobile computing device that provides advanced computing capability and connectivity, and runs a complete operating system and platform for application developers and users to install and run more advanced applications.[2]

Overview Edit

"Smartphones combine the telecommunications functions of a mobile phone with the processing power of a computer, creating an Internet-connected mobile device capable of running a variety of software apps for productivity or leisure."[3]

Because smartphones are at the boundaries of computing, telephony and telecommunications services, the lines between smartphones, mobile phones, and notebook computers have become blurred through the introduction of tablets and tablet-phone hybrids.[4]

Smartphones connect with mobile carrier networks for making calls and providing data services. Some smartphones also have the capability to connect with wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks to provide data services.

In 2009, approximately 172 million mobile phones were sold in the United States. Of these, 27% were Internet-capable smartphones manufactured by a wide variety of firms, including Apple, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, RIM, Samsung and Sony-Ericsson. Analysts expect smartphone sales to overtake standard mobile phone sales soon.[5]

According to Pew Research, as of October 2015, 68% of U.S. adults own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011 when Pew Research first began examining smartphone adoption.[6]

Vendors of smartphone products and services Edit

Four types of companies are primarily responsible for smartphone products and services in the United States:


Together, the products and services developed by these various companies allow users to take advantage of the various functions smartphones provide.

Security issues Edit

Smartphones are susceptible to general networking threats and face additional security risks.

Privacy issues Edit

The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, imposes a duty on mobile carriers to secure information and imposes particular requirements for protecting information identified as customer proprietary network information (CPNI), including the location of customers when they make calls. The Communications Act requires express authorization for access to or disclosure of call location information concerning the user of commercial mobile services, subject to certain exceptions.[8] Carriers must also comply with FCC rules implementing the E911 requirements of the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, including providing location information to emergency responders when mobile phone users dial 911.[9]

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 sets out requirements under which the government can access information about a user's mobile phone and Internet communications. This includes legal procedures for obtaining court orders to acquire information relevant to a law enforcement inquiry.

References Edit

  1. Mobility Capability Package, at 8.
  2. Smartphone and Other Mobile Computing Device Security, at 4.
  3. Smartphone Data: Information and Issues Regarding Surreptitious Tracking Apps That Can Facilitate Stalking, at 4 n.5.
  4. The Impact of the Acquisition and Use of Patents on the Smartphone Industry, at 2.
  5. Carolina Milanesi et al., Gartner, Inc., Forecast: Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 2003-2013, at tab 2 (Devices) (2009). The information was taken from column L (2012 year), added rows 40 (Basic Phones) and 41 (Enhanced Phones) together (95 million) and compared the number with the number received when rows 43 (Smart Phones—Entry Level) and 44 (Smart Phone—Feature) are added together (109 million). This plan contains several references to Gartner.
  6. Smartphone Data: Information and Issues Regarding Surreptitious Tracking Apps That Can Facilitate Stalking, at 1 n.1.
  7. Cyber Threats to Mobile Phones, at 3.
  8. 47 U.S.C. §222(f)(1).
  9. 47 C.F.R. §20.18.

Source Edit

See also Edit

External resources Edit

  • US-CERT, Technical Information Paper: Cyber Threats to Mobile Devices (full-text).

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