Since the cell / mobile phone industry took off massively in the mid-nineties, many new companies have become household names. The cell / mobile phone industry is fiercely competitive though and, as with all industries, there have been (and will continue to be) many casualties along the way. Although the cell / mobile phone industry is massive, the competition is also very intense. Where there are big winners, there inevitably will be big losers.
Here are a few of the companies that have played a major role in the history of the cell / mobile phone industry:
Alcatel-Lucent is a global telecommunications corporation, headquartered in Paris, France. It provides telecommunications solutions to service providers, enterprises, and governments around the world, enabling these customers to deliver voice, data, and video services.
Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. In recent years, one of the company's best known products is the iPhone. The iPhone is a smartphone, the first version of which was unveiled by the late Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, who at the time was CEO of Apple. The product wasn't actually released until June 29, 2007.
As of January 2012, Swedish company Ericsson is the world's largest mobile telecommunications equipment vendor with a market share of 35%. The company provides telecommunication and data communication systems, and related services, covering a range of technologies, including especially mobile networks. Ericsson is also the company that invented Bluetooth.
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation, which gained world-wide recognition through its Internet search engine. These days, as well as Internet search, Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products. Google leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, which is an operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance, which is led by Google.
HTC Corporation is a Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones. Initially, the company made smartphones that were based for the most part on Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system (OS) software, but in 2009 the company started shifting its core focus away from Windows Mobile devices to devices based on Google's Android OS, and then in 2010 to Windows Phone OS as well.
Kyocera Corporation manufactures a large range of products, including telecommunications equipment, office document imaging equipment, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools, and components for medical and dental implant systems. The company was founded as Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. in 1959 by Kazuo Inamori.
The LG group of companies collectively produces electronics, chemicals, and telecommunications products, with operations in over 80 countries. Since 1996, one of the subsidiaries, LG Electronics, has established firmly in the cell / mobile phone market, producing several very popular handsets.
Motorola Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company. On January 4, 2011, the company was divided into two independent companies: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. Motorola Solutions is generally considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, Inc., as the reorganization was structured with Motorola Mobility effectively being spun off.
In the world of mobile / cell phone history, Motorola's really big claim to fame is that on April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, who at the time was an employee of Motorola, made the first phone call from a prototype cell / mobile phone.
Motorola creates numerous products for use by the government, public safety officials, business installments, and the general public. These products include cell / mobile phones, computer processors, laptops, and radio communication devices. The Motorola RAZR line has sold over 120 million units taking the company to the number two mobile phone slot in 2005.
Finnish company Nokia is a multinational communications corporation, with its headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki. Nokia is probably one of the best known mobile phone companies and is engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices and in converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia is currently (2011) the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones, and has over 132,000 employees in 120 countries, sales in more than 150 countries and a global annual revenue of over 42 billion Euros and an operating profit of 2 billion Euros (figures valid as of 2010).
NTT Docomo, Inc. is the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan, and is a subsidiary of Japan's incumbent telephone operator NTT. As of 2008, NTT Docomo had more than 53 million customers. NTT stands for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.
Research In Motion (RIM)
Finnish company Research In Motion is a Canadian multinational telecommunications company probably best known for its Blackberry products. In 2009, Fortune Magazine named RIM as the fastest growing company in the world, having a growth of 84% in profits during the preceding three years.
Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational corporation that has its headquarters in Samsung Town, Seoul. The company consists of numerous international affiliated businesses, and has been a major player in the electronics industry for many years. As of 2011, Samsung had produced over 800 million mobile / cell phones.
Siemens is an integrated technology company with activities in the fields of industry, energy and healthcare. Siemens Mobile was a mobile phone manufacturer and a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG. Siemens sold Siemens Mobile to the Taiwan-based BenQ in 2005.
The Bell System / Bell Telephone Company / AT&T
In 1877, the American Bell Telephone Company, named after Alexander Graham Bell, opened the first telephone exchange in New Haven, Connecticut. Within a few years local exchange companies were established in every major city in the United States.
Vodafone Group Plc is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues. It is the world's second-largest measured by subscribers (behind China Mobile), with over 391 million subscribers as of September 2011.