A smartphone is a mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a feature phone. The first smartphones mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant (PDA) and a mobile phone or camera phone. Today's models also serve to combine the functions of portable media players, low-end compact digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and GPS navigation units. Modern smartphones typically also include high-resolution touchscreens, web browsers that can access and properly display standard web pages rather than just mobile-optimized sites, and high-speed data access via Wi-Fi and mobile broadband. The most common mobile operating systems (OS) used by modern smartphones include Google's Android, Apple's iOS, Nokia's Symbian, RIM's BlackBerry OS, Samsung's Bada, Microsoft's Windows Phone, HP's webOS, and embedded Linux distributions such as Maemo and MeeGo. Such operating systems can be installed on many different phone models, and typically each device can receive multiple OS software updates over its lifetime.
The distinction between smartphones and feature phones can be vague and there is no official definition for what constitutes the difference between them. One of the most significant differences is that the advanced application programming interfaces (APIs) on smartphones for running third-party applications can allow those applications to have better integration with the phone's OS and hardware than is typical with feature phones. In comparison, feature phones more commonly run on proprietary firmware, with third-party software support through platforms such as Java ME or BREW. An additional complication in distinguishing between smartphones and feature phones is that over time the capabilities of new models of feature phones can increase to exceed those of phones that had been promoted as smartphones in the past.
Some manufacturers use the term "superphone" for their high end phones with unusually large screens and other expensive features. Other commentators prefer "phablet" in recognition of their convergence with low-end tablet computers.
About 18 percent of total world population possess some sort of smartphone by 2012, compared to 12 percent in 2010 and 8 percent in 2008.