The History of Smartphones

Online English Listening

Listening level: 2
Audio file: 1:53 min
Story length: 233 words


Here is the listening file for this lesson.



Almost everyone has a Smartphone. They’re used to make calls and send messages. However, they do much more. These machines let us connect with the internet, play games, take pictures and store files. A Smartphone is like a phone, camera and small computer in one box.

Smartphones weren’t common until about ten years ago. Before Smartphones, mobile phones were used to make calls and send text messages. The first Smartphone was the IBM Simon. It was on sale in 1992. It was a simple version of the Smartphone we see today. The Simon was a mobile phone with a touch screen that could send and receive emails and faxes.

In 1997, the Swedish company Ericsson made a new phone. It was called the “Smartphone.” That was how the word “Smartphone” started. Soon many companies started making Smartphones. Nokia made the first phone with a colored screen. Sony made the first Smartphone with a camera.

Apple started selling the iPhone in 2007. It was the first Smartphone with all the important features in one device. Soon most mobile phones looked a lot like the iphone.

Smartphones make communication fast and easy. They are compact and convenient. They easily fit into pockets. Even though they are small, they are packed with applications and information. They perform functions that were not possible with older mobile phones. They have become an essential part of our modern life.


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