Initially, mobile phones were devices with the sole purpose of making phone calls; later developing to being capable of sending text messages as well. The latest mobile phones are currently more powerful than most home computers would have been 5 or so years ago. Mobile phones are now effectively hand held computers, multi media players and communication devices all rolled in to one pocket sized device.
Data that can be recovered from mobile phones depends on the device itself but can include some or all of the following (the list is not exhaustive): contacts, call logs, text messages, multimedia messages, e-mails, photographs, videos, voice recordings, locations visited, notes, calendar, passwords, Internet history.
There are many more file systems and operating systems used by mobile devices than is the case for computers. Because of this, there is no one software tool in the mobile forensic market that can deal with all mobile devices: this is why the Forensic Computing Unit (FCU) has a number of mobile phone software products, maximising the number of devices they are able to acquire and analyse.
Following the acquisition of the mobile device, reports can be generated specific to the information required for the investigation. If it is an investigation that revolves around text messages, then only the text messages, along with device and acquisition information, will be made available to the investigator. If it is an investigation which would require access to photographs, Internet history, calls made, text messages etc, then this would all be included in the report.