Why Sharp? Because Sharp does, everyone else follows.
In 1993, Sharp & Apple created the Expert Pad/Message Pad, the world's first personal digital assistant (PDA), the prototype of today's smartphones.
November 1999: Sharp launched the J-SH02, the world's first full-colour (256 colours) display phone.
November 2000: Sharp launched the J-SH04, the world's second camera phone (only preceded by Kyocera's VP-210 launched in May 1999, which barely gained any popularity).
November 2002: the Sharp SH251iS was the world's first mobile phone to incorporate a stereoscopic 3D colour screen (glasses-free).
In 2002, Sharp launched the world's first VGA (480 x 640 px) display PDA, the Zaurus SL-C700.
The J-SH010, launched in March 2003, was the first phone* to feature a QVGA (240 x 320 px) display. (* According to own research.)
The 902SH, released simultaneously in Japan and the UK, was the first phone to feature an optical-zoom camera and the first in Europe to have a 2-megapixel camera.
Sharp released the world's first VGA (480 x 640 px) display phone, the 904SH, in February 2006. The 904SH was also the world's first face-recognition-enabled handset.
In May 2007, the EM ONE S01SH was the world's first 800 x 480 px touchscreen PDA.
The world's first waterproof phone was the 934SH released on Softbank in August 2009, having IPX5/7 certification. About a year later, in June 2010, the 841SH was launched, which was also the world's first dusproof (IP5X) phone. Almost all Sharp phones since then are both water- and dustproof.
In October 2008, Sharp released the 931SH, which featured the first-of-a-kind full-touch 3.8-inch, 1024 x 480 px display. For comparison, iPhone 3G (2nd generation) released at the same time, featured a 3.5-inch display with a 480 x 320 px resolution. The 931SH had a 5.2-megapixel auto-focus 29-mm camera with multiple face detection and panorama shooting – features that other phone manufacturers did not introduce until 3–5 years later.
In December 2011, the SH-01D became the world's first phone to feature an optical image stabilisation (OIS) camera. It also has a glasses-free 3D display.