40 Years! The Evolution of Cellular Phones

Ever wondered how cellphones started? when was the first phone call made and who made the call?

40 years ago, the Vice President of Motorola, Martin Cooper is the first one to make the first call through a cellular phone, and the first one that he called is his rival Bell Labs at AT&T.

30 years after, Steve Jobs and Apple released their very own advance phone and called it the iPhone. Steve made the very first call of their iPhone in a Starbucks Cafe and made an order of 4,000 lattes while the journalists in the auditorium listened carefully. It was a very historic start of the most advanced phone today.

The Granddads of Phones

The cellular phone used by Martin Cooper to call his rival is the DynaTac 8000X. It became available in the market in 1984 and price was almost $4,000.

DynaTac 8000X means “Dynamic Total Area Coverage”. It takes 10 hours to fully charge the battery and features a simple LED display screen. If you are a collector and wants to have one, it’s still available on eBay but it doesn’t cost $4,000 anymore. It is much cheaper today.

The first ever flip phone was the MicroTac by Motorola released in 1989.

Nokia is the first to popularize the digitized ringtones. Nokia 2110 was the first to have the Grand Vals tune which was originally played in guitar in 1902.

Following the Motorola’s MicroTac, the company released the StarTac. The first ever clamshell phone that became very popular since its release in 1996.

The StarTac was also the first camera phone but Motorola did not install the camera. It was just hacked by Philippe Kahn. He used his computer and his Casio digital camera and rigged it on the StarTac. He took a photo of his baby on June 11, 1997 and uploaded it to a website.

earliest cellphone

The first company to sell camera phones is Softbank (formerly J-Phone in Japan) in 2000. Sony Ericsson then followed releasing their own camera phone in the US called Sony Ericsson T68i. The camera was not installed in the cellular phone, it was sold separately. The camera was just like an add-on or just a clip-on removable piece.

Sanyo is also of the brands that released a camera phone.

Motorola’s Razr phone line that launched in 2004 became a hit since its release. It sold 50 million units of phones within 2 years.

PDAs then followed the cellular phones. They are more bigger and chunkier but are quite more powerful than the cellular phones. The Blackberry 5810, released in 2002, was the first PDA to have a cellular connection.

The first phones to have the Windows Mobile OS was the Palm TreoW.

And then there’s iPhone which started in 2007. It was quite revolutionary and took everyone by surprise. Internet, music, and phone in one device – that stunned the audience in Moscone Theater, San Francisco.

Since then, even more smartphone manufacturers came out with a smartphone with exciting technologies. It is slowly becoming a part of our lives and getting even more useful for everyday life.

(image via: gizmag)