A smartphone card is a memory device in a cellular phone. It can actually serve two different functions within a cellular phone. Wireless providers in certain areas use a subscriber identity module (SIM) as an identification chip to track that phone's overall usage and for consumers to store personal information. Another type of smartphone card is purchased by a consumer to be used as additional memory for things like music, applications, and games. Each of these memory devices slides into a reader port; this is normally located within the phone's battery compartment.
The first type of smartphone card functions much like a credit card; it tracks each item the consumer purchases with her phone and it tells the service provider how much to bill the user. Each SIM card would have a unique signature that would identify the customer's account and billing information. A phone with a SIM card transmits this data back to the cellular carrier several times per day without the user's knowledge. This method makes is very hard for consumers to dispute charges on their phones because every purchase is independently traced back to that smartphone card.
This type of smartphone card also makes it easy for consumers to switch to different phones as well. Since all of her personal and billing information is stored in one place on the SIM card, a user can simply remove the smartphone card and place it in any compatible device for her particular carrier. From start to finish, this task can usually be completed in less than 60 seconds. By utilizing SIM cards, this also allows cellular companies to have less retail stores since they can complete phone upgrades through the mail.
Another type of smartphone card is actually bought by the consumer. This device is similar in appearance to a SIM card and it stores information almost exactly the same way. The major difference is that it normally has much higher levels of storage capacity so that users can download music, movies, and games.
An additional advantage of using a smartphone card is the portability it gives to users. Since this card is not locked to any one device, consumers can use this type of smartphone card to share downloads with their friends. The card can simply be removed from the expansion slot and inserted into a separate phone, and then the files can be transferred. Although cellular providers did not design smartphone cards with this purpose in mind, it is a major selling point among the younger generations.