Lauren Jost, Connect2Mason Reporter

Blackberrys, Droids and iPhones, oh my. Smartphones have begun to dominate the cell phone market, as well as the George Mason University campus.

Many students can be found walking around campus with their phones in hand, texting and chatting away.

Smartphones, such as the iPhone, allow students to check e-mail, play games and listen to music, among other functions.

“It will be two years this summer,” says senior Steve Brown of his iPhone anniversary, who says he uses his iPhone for the unique applications. “I was driving to work today [and] I used the Maps application in my iPhone to check the traffic between the two different routes. It saved me a bunch of time, and I reflected back on how often it has saved my butt. I wonder where I’d be without it — probably late.”

Apple, creator of the popular iPhone, reported a record sale of 8.7 million iPhones in its first fiscal quarter of the 2010 year.

This is a 100 percent unit growth from their earnings in the same quarter last year.

Motorola, Inc.,Verizon Wireless and Google launched the smartphone Droid in response to Apple’s iPhone. The Droid, which works in a similar capacity as the iPhone, is only available for customers of Verizon Wireless. The iPhone has exclusivity with AT & T.

“I’ve had my Droid for a month and I love it,” said senior Josh Green, who raves about the phone. “I use it for everything like checking my e-mails, [going on the Internet], paying my bills and ignoring people at work.”

But not all students have these fancy smartphones, and some prefer to keep their cell phones simple.

“The last phone that I bought was a Motorola RAZR, in 2007 or 2006,” said senior Rachel Ford, who compared cell phone companies that charge for an information package on a smartphone to restaurants charging for condiments. “Now I have a fancy touch phone . . . but the Internet plan is so expensive. I think smartphones are cool, but the whole marketing scheme of coming out with a new upgrade every year so people buy a new phone every year makes me sick, and it seems super wasteful and that disgusts me.”

Mobile phone sales totalled nearly 309 million units worldwide in the third quarter of 2009, according to Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory company.

Smartphone sales, which saw a 12.8 percent increase from the same period last year, surpassed 41 million units.