Screen sizes are measured in diagonal inches ; feature phones generally have screen sizes below 3. Phones with screens larger than 5. Due to design advances, some modern smartphones with large screen sizes and "edge-to-edge" designs have compact builds that improve their ergonomics, while the shift to taller aspect ratios have resulted in phones that have larger screen sizes whilst maintaining the ergonomics associated with smaller displays. Some displays are integrated with pressure-sensitive digitizers, such as those developed by Wacom and Samsung ,  and Apple's " 3D Touch " system.
In sound, smartphones and feature phones vary little. Some audio-quality enhancing features, such as Voice over LTE and HD Voice , have appeared and are often available on newer smartphones. Sound quality can remain a problem due to the design of the phone, the quality of the cellular network and compression algorithms used in long-distance calls.
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The small speakers can also be used to listen to digital audio files of music or speech or watch videos with an audio component, without holding the phone close to the ear. The average phone battery lasts 2—3 years at best. Many of the wireless devices use a Lithium-Ion Li-Ion battery, which charges — times, depending on how users take care of the battery and the charging techniques used. Battery life can be extended by draining it regularly, not overcharging it, and keeping it away from heat.
The SIM card is approximately the size of a small postage stamp and is usually placed underneath the battery in the rear of the unit. The SIM card allows users to change phones by simply removing the SIM card from one mobile phone and inserting it into another mobile phone or broadband telephony device, provided that this is not prevented by a SIM lock. From onwards, such phones became popular in emerging markets,  and this was attributed to the desire to obtain the lowest on-net calling rate.
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A mobile app is a computer program designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone. The term "app" is a shortening of the term "software application".
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The first SMS message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in in the UK while the first person-to-person SMS from phone to phone was sent in Finland in The first mobile news service, delivered via SMS, was launched in Finland in , [ citation needed ] and subsequently many organizations provided "on-demand" and "instant" news services by SMS. The introduction of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July popularized manufacturer-hosted online distribution for third-party applications software and computer programs focused on a single platform. There are a huge variety of apps, including video games , music products and business tools.
Up until that point, smartphone application distribution depended on third-party sources providing applications for multiple platforms, such as GetJar , Handango , Handmark , and PocketGear. From to , Motorola was market leader in mobile phones. Nokia was the market leader in mobile phones from to Samsung has retained its top position since then. In , the top five manufacturers worldwide were Samsung Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, such as keeping in touch with family members, for conducting business, and in order to have access to a telephone in the event of an emergency.
Some people carry more than one mobile phone for different purposes, such as for business and personal use. Multiple SIM cards may be used to take advantage of the benefits of different calling plans. For example, a particular plan might provide for cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming. In , one of the first examples of distributing and selling media content through the mobile phone was the sale of ringtones by Radiolinja in Finland.
Soon afterwards, other media content appeared, such as news, video games, jokes, horoscopes, TV content and advertising. Most early content for mobile phones tended to be copies of legacy media , such as banner advertisements or TV news highlight video clips. Recently, unique content for mobile phones has been emerging, from ringtones and ringback tones to mobisodes , video content that has been produced exclusively for mobile phones.
In many countries, mobile phones are used to provide mobile banking services, which may include the ability to transfer cash payments by secure SMS text message. Kenya's M-PESA mobile banking service, for example, allows customers of the mobile phone operator Safaricom to hold cash balances which are recorded on their SIM cards. Cash can be deposited or withdrawn from M-PESA accounts at Safaricom retail outlets located throughout the country and can be transferred electronically from person to person and used to pay bills to companies.
Branchless banking has also been successful in South Africa and the Philippines.
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Another application of mobile banking technology is Zidisha , a US-based nonprofit micro-lending platform that allows residents of developing countries to raise small business loans from Web users worldwide. Zidisha uses mobile banking for loan disbursements and repayments, transferring funds from lenders in the United States to borrowers in rural Africa who have mobile phones and can use the Internet.
Mobile payments were first trialled in Finland in when two Coca-Cola vending machines in Espoo were enabled to work with SMS payments. Eventually, the idea spread and in , the Philippines launched the country's first commercial mobile payments systems with mobile operators Globe and Smart. Some mobile phones can make mobile payments via direct mobile billing schemes, or through contactless payments if the phone and the point of sale support near field communication NFC. Mobile phones are commonly used to collect location data. While the phone is turned on, the geographical location of a mobile phone can be determined easily whether it is being used or not using a technique known as multilateration to calculate the differences in time for a signal to travel from the mobile phone to each of several cell towers near the owner of the phone.
The movements of a mobile phone user can be tracked by their service provider and if desired, by law enforcement agencies and their governments. Both the SIM card and the handset can be tracked. China has proposed using this technology to track the commuting patterns of Beijing city residents. They possess technology that enables them to activate the microphones in mobile phones remotely in order to listen to conversations which take place near the phone.
Hackers are able to track a phone's location, read messages, and record calls, just by knowing the phone number. Mobile phone use while driving, including talking on the phone, texting, or operating other phone features, is common but controversial. It is widely considered dangerous due to distracted driving.
Being distracted while operating a motor vehicle has been shown to increase the risk of accidents. In March , a U. In Egypt, Israel, Japan, Portugal, and Singapore, both handheld and hands-free use of a mobile phone which uses a speakerphone is banned. In other countries, including the UK and France and in many U. A simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related accidents when texting. Due to the increasing complexity of mobile phones, they are often more like mobile computers in their available uses. This has introduced additional difficulties for law enforcement officials when attempting to distinguish one usage from another in drivers using their devices.
This is more apparent in countries which ban both handheld and hands-free usage, rather than those which ban handheld use only, as officials cannot easily tell which function of the mobile phone is being used simply by looking at the driver. This can lead to drivers being stopped for using their device illegally for a phone call when, in fact, they were using the device legally, for example, when using the phone's incorporated controls for car stereo, GPS or satnav.
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A study reviewed the incidence of mobile phone use while cycling and its effects on behaviour and safety. Accidents involving a driver being distracted by talking on a mobile phone have begun to be prosecuted as negligence similar to speeding. New Zealand has banned hand-held cell phone use since 1 November Many states in the United States have banned texting on cell phones while driving. Illinois became the 17th American state to enforce this law. This database of laws provides a comprehensive view of the provisions of laws that restrict the use of mobile communication devices while driving for all 50 states and the District of Columbia between when first law was passed, through 1 December The dataset contains information on 22 dichotomous, continuous or categorical variables including, for example, activities regulated e.
In , an estimated pedestrians were injured in the US while using a cellphone and some jurisdictions have attempted to ban pedestrians from using their cellphones. The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent [ when? Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which some believe may be harmful to human health.
A large body of research exists, both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals and in humans. The majority of this research shows no definite causative relationship between exposure to mobile phones and harmful biological effects in humans. This is often paraphrased simply as the balance of evidence showing no harm to humans from mobile phones, although a significant number of individual studies do suggest such a relationship, or are inconclusive. Other digital wireless systems , such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.
On 31 May , the World Health Organization stated that mobile phone use may possibly represent a long-term health risk,   classifying mobile phone radiation as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" after a team of scientists reviewed studies on mobile phone safety.
Some recent [ when? Lennart Hardell and other authors of a meta-analysis of 11 studies from peer-reviewed journals concluded that cell phone usage for at least ten years "approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same 'ipsilateral' side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use".
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In May , preliminary findings of a long-term study by the U. A study by the London School of Economics found that banning mobile phones in schools could increase pupils' academic performance, providing benefits equal to one extra week of schooling per year. The average user replaces their mobile phone every 11 to 18 months,  and the discarded phones then contribute to electronic waste. Mobile phone manufacturers within Europe are subject to the WEEE directive , and Australia has introduced a mobile phone recycling scheme.
Apple Inc. According to the Federal Communications Commission , one out of three robberies involve the theft of a cellular phone. All mobile phones have a unique identifier called IMEI. Anyone can report their phone as lost or stolen with their Telecom Carrier, and the IMEI would be blacklisted with a central registry.
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