Under Construction.
Brief History of handheld devices - tablets, PDAs and smart phones:

1967 -  E.A. Johnson at the Royal Radar Establishment, Malvern, UK publishes
        a description of capacitive touch screen technology.
1968 - Alan Kay proposes a portable personal computing tablet, the Dynabook
1972 - Pocket calculator Sinclare, TI, HP
1972 - Danish electronics engineer Bent Stumpe produces prototype capacitance touchscreen.
1974 - Sam Hurst at Elographics produces resistive touch-screens.
1982 - First portable cell phones were big and clunky
1983 -  Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP-150, a home computer with touch screen technology,
        using  grid of infrared beams across the front of the monitor. 
1982 - Grid Compass laptop with a screen supporting 80x24 characters of text. $8150
       Has an full screen text editor, worksheet, database, plot, BASIC and database.
1983 - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 100 laptop for $1,099
        8 line x 40 character LCD with 240 by 64 pixel addressable graphics.
        It has text (notes), address and calendar applications and BASIC.
        Becomes the standard for field news/sports reporters
1986 - Psion introduces the Organizer II a pocket computer with a diary and alarm clock,
    It also had end-user programmability and was used for commercial applications.
1988 - Compaq SLT/286 with DOS and the first VGA screen on a laptop
1990 - Wide-area paging introduced and over 22 million pagers were in use.
       By 1994, there were over 61 million pagers in use.
1993 - Apple introduces the Newton, a PDA (personal digital assistant) with
      notes, a calendar, to-do list, address book and a touch sensitive screen
      with handwriting recognition which didn't work very well.
1996 - Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan invent the palm pilot,
    a PDA with a touch sensitive screen and a shorthand handwriting recognition, graffiti. 
    The palmOS (Palmpilot, Handspring, Treo phone) grows to 14 Million users by 2009.
1999 - Microsoft introduces a tablet PC with no success.
1999 - 2005 Fingerworks develops multi-touch technologies
2001 - The handspring Treo 180 combined the Palm OS with a phone.
2002 - RIM introduces the  BlackBerry 5810, combining email with a phone
       and a small QWERTY keyboard.  Grows to 20 M users by 2010.
2002 - Sanyo and Sprint debuted the Sanyo SCP-5300 PCS phone, with a built-in camera.
2005 - Apple acquires Fingerworks multi-touch technologies.
2007 - Apple releases the iPhone with iOS. As of July. 2011 125 million sold.
       Amazon releases the Kindle e-reader
       Barnes and Noble releases the nook e-reader
2008 -  HTC Dream the first phone with Google's android operating system released.
       By the end of 2011 android was installed on 130 million devices.
2009 - Smartphones (combines features of a PDA and email with a phone) take off.
2010 - Apple releases the iPad using iOS
       As of Nov. 2011 40 million sold.
       Samsung releases the Galaxy tablet using  Google's Android OS
2011 - At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, over 80 new tablets were announced.
       By 3Q Android had made headway into the tablet market, but still only had 25%
2011 - HP discontinues webOS hardware.
       It will continue support of webOS software it acquired from  Palm in 2010.  
Android and iOS (Apple)
July 2010 end of 2011
Devices (million)
iOS 60 165
Android 20 130
iOS 225,000 500,000
Android 75,000 300,000
* More phones have android than iOS, but the iPad leads android tablets.

"Soft machines: A philosophy of user-computer interface design" SIGCHI (1983), by Nakatani & Rohrlich at Bell Laboratories
Key Apple Multi-Touch Patent Tech Approved, 2009

Mini and Personal Computing Timeline
Multi-touch - Wikipedia
Mobile Computing
It's a photo finish: Android, BlackBerry and iOS are tied in US smartphone share (2010)
Android leads US market share, iOS may have stopped growing, RIM is still falling -- Engadget Dec., 2011

last updated 10 Jan 2012