The Smartphone: Anatomy of an Industry

The Smartphone: Anatomy of an Industry

Elizabeth Woyke

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 1595589635

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


We think we know everything about our smartphones. We use them constantly. We depend on them for every conceivable purpose. We are familiar with every inch of their compact frames. But there is more to the smartphone than meets the eye.

How have smartphones shaped the way we socialize and interact? Who tracks our actions, our preferences, our movements as recorded by our smartphones? These are just some of the questions that journalist Elizabeth Woyke answers in this muckraking exposé of the $241 billion industry that produces more than 700 million devices each year.

In the tradition of The Coffee Book, The Sneaker Book, Oil, and Cigarettes, The Smartphone offers not only a step-by-step guide to how smartphones are designed and manufactured but also a bold exploration of the darker side of this massive industry, including the exploitation of labor, the disposal of electronic waste, and the underground networks that hack and smuggle smartphones.

Featuring interviews with key figures in the development of the smartphone and expert assessments of the industry’s main players—Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung—The Smartphone is the perfect introduction to this most personal of gadgets. Your smartphone will never look the same again.

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to our success, so we made it easy [to buy and sell apps and install them],” explains Chris desalvo, who was a senior software engineer at danger from 2000 to 2005. “no extra setup, no hassle.” though more limited in scope than Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung 47 the iPhone’s App store, the download fun Catalog had the same basic functionality, four years earlier, and people actually used it. desalvo says some sidekick developers made $40,000 or more per month off app sales in the

2010, according to the Enough Project, a Washington, d.C.–based nonprofit dedicated to fighting crimes against humanity, including conflict minerals. Because more and more companies want Assembling a Smartphone 123 to buy only clean minerals, mines free of armed control can fetch $9 for a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cassiterite (tin ore), whereas mines controlled by armed groups are only able to get $1.50 per kilogram, Bleasdale says. Enough says 66 percent of Eastern Congo’s 3t mines are now

buy only what they need, since anything left over will be thrown away (or taken away by the carriers, in the case of wireless plans). “smartphone plans are supercomplicated, with lots of variations,” admits dunphy. “But we’re trying to get people to think about the way they buy other things in life and apply that thinking to their wireless plans.” the problem is that mobile data is not sold the way most products are. In order to select a data tier, consumers must estimate how much bandwidth they

continuum of stuff in the same long-term mission of mobile computing.” By this time Palm had been acquired by u.s. robotics, which was in turn acquired by networking equipment maker 3Com. the relationship between 3Com and Palm was awkward from the beginning, and so after 3Com refused to spin out Palm as a separate entity, Hawkins departed, along with Palm’s president and CEo, donna dubinsky. Palm’s head of marketing, Ed Colligan, soon joined them, and the trio established a company called

“breakthrough in wireless convergence” that “lets you manage all of your business communications and information from a single, integrated wireless handheld.” 28 reviewers were less laudatory. though eWEEK noted that the device “heeds [people’s] call for fewer gadgets” 29 by enabling users to carry one device instead of two, PC Magazine called the 5810 a “not-so-convenient combo communicator” 30 and Forbes magazine said answering calls caused a “paroxysm of fumbling” 31 to get the earbud/mike

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