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January 2015 Vol. 52 No. 5

New Press

The following review appeared in the January 2015 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences
Business, Management & Labor

2014-20781 CIP
Woyke, Elizabeth. The smartphone: anatomy of an industry. New Press, 2014. 296p index ISBN 9781595589637 pbk, $18.95.

A former Businessweek and Forbes staff writer, Woyke has written an interesting—and exhaustive—account of the smartphone industry.  She begins her comprehensive overview with DynaTAC, a series of cellular telephones patented by Motorola in 1973, and continues through to today with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, detailing their struggles to gain market dominance.  However, the book is not merely historical.  There is a chapter on managing the assembling of a smartphone, including a focus on Apple and Foxconn.  All industrial activity produces waste, including the smartphone industry, and the author discusses carrier economics and the management of e-waste.  There is a chapter on smartphones and health, focusing on the alleged connection between smartphone use and cancer, as well as smartphone addiction.  A chapter on smartphones and privacy focuses on contemporary topics such as using smartphone apps to collect user data and phone location surreptitiously.  The final chapter, which looks toward the future of the smartphone industry internationally, includes a discussion of the Lifeline Program for low-income Americans.  It also identifies the top 20 countries in terms of smartphone ownership by percentage of population, contains a discussion of the the Dutch start-up social enterprise Fairphone, and concludes with a smartphone bill of rights.

--E. J. Szewczak, Canisius College

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.