[<< wikibooks] Work and Life in the Mobile Society/Technology/Smartphones
Before discussing the operating systems on Smartphones we need to understand the concepts behind their technology. First of all, a Smartphone is not just some kind of mobile phone in which we can answer phone calls, play music and videos. Even though it can be used for that purpose, a Smartphone is a complete solution created for many of those who want functionality and flexibility combined when they handle their information and communication needs. These functionalities allow users to manage (install) and run applications according to their needs, making of the Smartphone a configurable and almost unique device for each user.


== Functionality ==
In addition to the common functions provided by a mobile phone, the smartphones' functions include: Web-browsing features, Personal Information Management (PIM), Communication with other devices (like laptops or desktops), Data synchronization, e-mail, instant messaging, and common applications like word processing programs and play audio / video files.
The technology of smartphones has increased their popularity, though most users don’t realize that such devices have operating systems like any personal computer; the OS has become the most important software in helping to handle hardware and software resources of the smartphone. Since the operating system manages how the device works and which applications can be supported, the amount of functionality and flexibility a smartphone has depends on its operating system.
As more and more people from different areas use smartphones, mostly in business, a strong competition has developed among the existing operating system developers for smartphones. This situation pushes the developers of smartphone applications to make changes accordingly with the market trends and people's needs. So, in time, operating systems for smartphones will become more user-friendly and will continue to be developed based on the needs of users.


== Operating Systems ==
The following are the most popular Operating System (OS) for Smartphones in the market:
Symbian.  It is a widely available and the global market leader. Among its principal characteristics are:

Includes components of the IP Multimedia Subsystem
Ability to automatically switch between cell and Wi-Fi networks.
GPS-enabled applications
Bluetooth kits for plugging into car audio systems.Windows Mobile. It is a compact Operating System (OS), with a group of basic applications used in Smartphones. Its strength is based on compatibility with the Microsoft Office suite programs.
Palm OS. Known also as Garnet OS, this OS combines a Linux-based foundation with the applications written from the old Palm OS. 
Linux. According to ARCchart, Linux OS supports more processors than any other operating system, although Symbian would be the most popular. 


== Conclusion ==
Finally, as we have seen Smartphones have become more widely spread tool among people, mainly business people. Thus, for the future we can expect to get more affordable and friendly versions of Smartphones which will be designed based on every people needs. However in order to compare and evaluate them, we need to understand clearly the design of each operating system and be able to determine whether its characteristics meets our requirements of functionality and flexibility.


== References ==
TechNewsWorld, 2008 “Smartphone Operating Systems, http://www.technewsworld.com/story/63446.html
ABI Research, 2005 “The Pros and Cons of Smartphone Operating Systems”, http://www.abiresearch.com/abiprdisplay.jsp?pressid=544
Road Map for Smartphone Operating Systems, http://www.informationweek.com/1122/ID_chart.jhtml
Wikipedia, http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone