What makes a smartphone a smartphone?

The introduction of the first iPhone changed the life of our modern society. This was the introduction of the first ever smartphone. Nowadays, people can’t live without it from communicating with friend and family, searching the web, taking a picture, listening and watching all types of media and mush more.

What makes an iPhone an iPhone? Well, according to the economist Mariana Mazzucato, there are 12 key technologies that make a smartphone: a small microprocessor, a memory chip, a solid state hard drive, a liquid crystal display, a lithium-ion battery, a signal compression, an access to internet, an HTTP and an HTML, a cellular network, a GPS, a touchscreen, and Siri.

All these 12 key technologies that we use in our day-to-day life and cannot live without were not created by Apple. In fact, all of the 12 key features that make a smartphone were not event created by a public company. All of those 12 technologies were created by government agencies. Yes, government agencies were using all of this technology long before it was unveiled to the public.

Without the help of government agencies, we will not be able to have in our hand an incredibly powerful device more capable than a supercomputer of the past.

The creations and the agencies involved in their creation:

Microprocessor: DARPA
Solid State drive: DoE/DARPA
Liquid-crystal display: NIH , NSF, DoD
Lithium-ion batteries: DoE
Signal Compression: Army Research Office
Internet: DARPA
Cellular technology: US Military
Multi-touch screen: DoE, CIA/NSF DoD

I highly recommend the podcast from where I  learned about this. It’s called 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy from BBC World Service.

Source of the list come from http://marianamazzucato.com/the-entrepreneurial-state/

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