Library Journal Review of The Smartphone: Anatomy of an Industry


Woyke, Elizabeth. The Smartphone: Anatomy of an Industry. New Pr. 2014. 304p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781595589637. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781595589682. ECON

Journalist Woyke examines the smartphone industry, beginning with the small companies that competed to introduce the first mobile telephone for consumers, then follows the process of technology advances, and, finally, traces the life cycle of today’s smartphone. The early days were filled with large devices, such as ­BlackBerrys and PalmPilots, carrying out simple tasks. Fast-forward to 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and mobile technology changed in an instant. Thus began the technology wars among Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and others, all vying for patents for software and hardware design. Woyke addresses assembly complications between company-owned factories and those that contract out the work while also discussing how the excavating of raw minerals and materials to create thousands of devices is laborious work, sometimes performed by children. Detailed are the ways manufacturers have planned obsolescence with trade-in and recycling built into the machine’s life span. VERDICT Woyke’s intelligent discourse easily explains the evolving industry—a wise read for anyone with a smartphone.—Meghan Dowell, Beloit Coll., WI