What's the difference between smartphones and cellphones?
These days people talk about smart phones all the time, the odd part is that many people really don't know how they differ from regular cell phones. There is a good reason for this, the differences are somewhat arbitrary. Nevertheless there are some things that all smart phones have that we can use to tell them apart from cell phones, at least for now. The differences will become even harder to tell in the future.
The main difference between a smart phone and a cell phone is that the smart phone has an operating system. That means that it can act in the same way that your computer can, really you can think of a smart phone as being a handheld computer. The operating system is what allows the smart phone to perform all of the functions that you wouldn't find on a regular cell phone. That being said the line between the two is becoming blurred to the point where in a few years there likely won't be a difference at all.
Using the presence of an operating system to differentiate between smart phones and cell phones is not an industry standard and you will find different definitions. Most of the time these definitions are based on the capabilities of the phone. This is why there is a real blurring of the line between smart phones and cell phones these days. For example most cell phones now include a web browser which means that you can do a lot of the same things that you would be able to on a smart phone.
There are a lot of other things that a smart phone and a cell phone have in common, the obvious one is that they are both phones. The primary purpose of both is to be able to make phone calls. Both will also have a number of other features like a camera or the ability to listen to music. The thing that the operating system does do for the smart phone however is make it much easier to use a lot of these features since things tend to laid out in a more logical way. This is really what makes a smart phone smart.
Ultimately a smart phone is a phone that is labeled as one. The feature that it has on it are not really all that different than the ones that you would find on the better cell phones. If a manufacturer wants to call a phone a smart phone and it has the required features than we would say that is just fine. In reality you will likely find that in the not too distant future all cell phones will have operating systems anyway so there really will not be a difference between smart phones and regular cell phones.