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Our online glossary is here to help you make sense of the terminology used in the cell phone industry. It covers mobile technologies, such as 3G and 4G, and even includes a bit of information on smartphone operating systems and the companies that make the cell phones and other mobile technology devices we all use.

What is "firmware"?

Firmware refers to the applications and operating system that control how a cellphone or smartphone operates. It is called firmware rather than software to highlight that it is very closely tied to the particular hardware components of a device. Firmware is generally flashed into a phone's ROM rather than simply being loaded into normal phone storage, where it could more easily be erased and lost in the event of a crash. Firmware updates are sometimes provided by a company as a way to fix bugs or introduce new functionality.

See Also: operating system

Referred to by: OTA

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