There has been some measure of controversy surrounding the definition of a smartphone, especially since the arrival of the iPhone. In an AAS article about

The Definition of a Smartphone

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There has been some measure of controversy surrounding the definition of a smartphone, especially since the arrival of the iPhone. In an AAS article about how the Nokia 5800 won a contest as “Best multimedia smartphone”, the question of whether or not the iPhone is a smartphone came up again.

The organisers of the contest left out the iPhone, among others, from the list of contenders, and I honestly am of the opinion that the contest was biased. It looks like those behind it wanted the 5800 to win. But then that is my opinion.

A couple of commenters there have laid the matter to rest, but to help readers of MobiNaija put this controversy to rest, here again is the definition of a smartphone:

“A smartphone is any phone that allows 3rd party applications to be written for, installed and run on its native OS (operating system)”

Nothing else matters. Following this definition, the iPhone qualifies as a smartphone. Some argue that the iPhone lacks true multi-tasking, but so did the various Palm OS versions in use over the years (to a different degree), but Palm devices were (and are) still accorded smartphone status.

Hopefully, it is settled. The iPhone has a native OS for which 3rd party applications are designed, and on which they are installed and run. The iPhone is a smartphone. Stop beefing


  1. Yomi,
    Well,Iphone may be a smart phone but not smarter or simply put,not intelligent.Imagine a smart phone that can not even share items via bluetooth,record personal video clip,send mass sms ,send or recieve MMS,infact it has no camera flash etc. This are simple functions that even s40 phones can take for granted.Infact, the only age Iphone has over others is its capacitive touch screen and its safari browser.This is why apple is struggling tooth and nail suing HTC android,samsung and others to claim the birth right of the capacitive touch screen because it is afraid of competition and moreover, this technology was there b4 Iphone.But the good news is that nokia has already signed a contract for supply of capacitive screen to replace its resistive touch screen used for 5800 and most expected N97.So lets keep our fingers crossed.

  2. Abubakar,

    Regardless of how “unintelligent” this smartphone from Apple is, apparently a lot of people like it for what it actually does. And at the end of the day, it is all about the paying consumer.

    The current worldwide statistics by Gartner speaks volumes.

    This “unintelligent” smartphone, which was introduced just a couple of yearsago, has climbed the chart against all odds to become the number 3 smartphone platform globally with a share of roughly 11%. See iPhone out-sells WinMo globally!

    The iPhone is not my type of device. But I would only be playing the ostrich to ignore the facts. Apparently, its generally us geeks who have issues with the iPhone. The last time I checked, we make up the minority. And that suggests that the iPhone has a bright future – especially if its competitors do not evolve fast enough.

    PS: According to the specs sheet for the new iPhone OS 3.0 (Apple takes a Bite out of Nokia/Symbian with iPhone 3.0), the upcoming version of the iPhone will certainly shed the old toga of “unintelligent”. New features include:

    • system-wide cut-and-paste,
    • SMS forwarding,
    • MMS,
    • Stereo A2DP Bluetooth streaming,
    • System-wide landscape keyboard,
    • WiFi auto-login for hotspots,
    • live video and audio streaming,
    • tethering, and
    • voice recording

    To be honest, in some ways, the iPhone v3.0 will be more intelligent than some of those smartphones you now deem intelligent.

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