Bestowing telecommunications devices with the personified moniker 'smartphones' means those devices better be pretty revolutionary - and boy, are they ever.
After being introduced in the late 1990s, smartphones have come to define the way individual people connect to the rest of the world. The top five manufacturers shipped nearly half a billion devices around the world in 2011 alone.
Smartphones have come a long way in a short time. Improvements in technical specifications such as internal processors, battery life, storage capability, screen size and broadband connectivity optimize the way devices perform. While the future for smartphones looks promising, let's take a look at how we got to this point in time.