The cell phone market ranges from inexpensive low end units to the high end units that are generally referred to as the “Smartphone”. Smart phones are handheld computers that support voice calling, email, Personal Data Assistance (“PDA”) functions, entertainment and Internet Access functions (or services). The evolution of the Smart phone has been driven by the emergence of wireless data communications. The network operators, in providing wireless data services, are trying to make individuals more productive, no matter where they are (and hence, they will use their wireless services more).
All smart phones come loaded with standard applications defined by the manufacturer. However, the network operators, looking for revenue opportunities, have encouraged the development of other third party applications, developed for specific cell phone platforms that use their wireless data network. Customers, using these applications, would generate data traffic and therefore generate more revenue (Average Revenue per Unit (“ARPU”)) for the network operators. The network operators established business relationships and development platforms to encourage the growth of these applications.
Smartphone sales have skyrocketed, led by Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s (“RIM”) Blackberry Storm devices. And as the network operators desired, customers acquired wireless data applications to improve their productivity.
Due to the rapid growth and evolution of the smart phone market, over the past few years, advances in network services drove the development of smart phones and drove the demand and popularity of smart phones. Trying to build on that success are Google, Intel, HTC, ARM, and eBay, among others who form the OHA. The OHA defines and maintains the Android specifications, an open source OS platform for mobile development.
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