History of mobile phones, Phones have gradually evolved and improved with great new features. Let’s review its entire history.
Mobile phones have come a long way since 1973 (even earlier) in design and features. From the Motorola DynaTAC to the current iPhone 14 or foldable like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, there is a whole world of improvements.
And it is that, currently, thousands of models of mobile phones and new brands have hit the streets since 1973 until now.
With all this, we wanted to review its history, remembering some of the first mobiles that integrated functions that we now see as something normal but which, at that time, were quite a revolution.
Smartphones, as we now know them, have become vital in our lives, and we are always up to date with the latest developments in the sector. However, everything has an origin; logically, it is not the same reality we currently live in.
This is the history of the mobile phone.
As we have already mentioned before, the first mobile phone was invented in 1973 by Motorola. On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first-ever mobile phone call with the DynaTAC 8000X.
The prototype weighed 1.1 kg and is quite large for what we are used to today. This cumbersome device offered a talk time of 30 minutes and required 10 hours to recharge. Until then, the closest thing to not being tied to a landline was having a phone installed in the car, so it was quite a revolution.
However, the history of mobile phones became popular during the mobile revolution that began in the 1990s. In 1990, the number of mobile users was around 11 million; by 2020, that number had risen to a whopping 2.5 billion. Of course, we’ve seen the famous “brick” phones evolve into something much more impressive during this time.
Previously, in 1985 we had a great event: the first text message in history was sent. A developer forwarded it to the company director at the Vodafone office Christmas party. The statement read: “Merry Christmas!”
Of course, big companies quickly followed in Motorola’s footsteps and began releasing their versions: Nokia, for example, entered the market in 1987 with the Mobira Cityman 900. Weighing 760 grams, the phone represented a Significant improvement over DynaTAC. Another year later, Samsung released its first mobile phone in 1988, the SH-100.
As we moved into the 1990s, phone cases got smaller and antennas thinner. In 1992, the next significant innovation came with the Nokia 1011, the first mass-produced GSM (2G) phone.
Now, until then, we were talking about mobile phones. However, the first smartphone was presented much earlier than you can imagine. Launched in 1994, the IBM Simon was the first device with apps and a touchscreen, making it the world’s first smartphone.
Although this novelty did not take off, “normal” mobiles continued to gain popularity as they became more compact and varied in design. There were more foldable phones, slider phones were introduced, and Motorola innovated again. For example, the Motorola StarTAC was the first clamshell phone and the first to raise the vibration.
The first mobile phone with a QWERTY keyboard was the Nokia Communicator 9000, released in 1996. In addition to having a keyboard, the Communicator 9000 also introduced many business-related features such as email, web browsing, faxing, word processing, and spreadsheets.
And in 1998, Siemens launched the Siemens S10, the first mobile phone with a color screen. Another big event that year was the launch of 3G. It is worth mentioning that custom ringtones were also released that same year, thus becoming the first downloadable content available for mobile phones.
Around the turn of the millennium, phones got even smaller and lighter. It was in the year 2000 when the Nokia 3310 was launched. In addition to becoming one of the most iconic phones of all time, it remains one of the best-selling phones today.