Mobile Phone Turns 40!!!

Evolution of the Mobile Phone

How many of us were aware that the gadget that we hold for hours in a day turned 40 on 3rd April. It is indeed sad that mobile phone turned 40 with no fanfare to mark this occasion in a market that seemed focused on the new Smartphones and a possible Facebook – themed device.

Evolution of the Mobile Phone
Evolution of the Mobile Phone

Cell phones are an integral part of our life these days, they help us connect with our family, with our boss, with our friends and mark our social quotient and what not. Cell phones now are everywhere. In 2013, according to the U.N, the world cellphone subscribers have reached a skyrocketing count of 6 billion and more of them are switching to the Smartphones lately.

40 years ago, the era of cell phones began in the streets of New York City. In 1973, the first phone call was made by inventor Martin cooper of Motorola with a prototype called Dyna Tac. “As I walked down the street while talking on the phone, sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call. Remember that in 1973, there weren’t cordless telephones or cellular phones. I made numerous calls, including one where I crossed the street while talking to a New York radio reporter – probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life”- Martin Cooper recollects. Cooper told the technology website The Verge last year that he placed the first call to a rival, Joel Engler of Bell Labs. “To this day, he resents what Motorola did in those days,” Cooper said.

The description of his call addressed to Mr.Joel on April 3rd, 1973 was quoted in an article “The History of the Cell phone” by Gereth Marples.

Martin Cooper with his Cell phone prototype Dyna Tac
Martin Cooper with his Cell phone prototype Dyna Tac

The first cell phone Dyna Tac weighed nearly 1 kg, a call could last for only 20-35 minutes due to its poor battery life and took nearly 10 hours to recharge. With 30 circuit boards placed inside and being 10 inches long, no wonder it got nicknamed as “the brick”. Cell phones have come a long way since that first model. IBM’s Simon Personal computer, revealed in November 1992 is recognized as the first smartphone. With less than 2 MB storage space and equipped with black and white screen, one could make calls, check mail, messages and keep track of contacts. It took five years since then for the camera to be placed on the phone. Philippe Kahn was the first to take photograph using his mobile, and the photo he took was of his newborn daughter Sophie who will turn 16 in June. Ten years after Kahn took his first cell phone picture, Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in June 2007.This turned to be the beast of the beasts which the top names like Nokia and Blackberry struggled to keep up with. Samsung picked up in this race later on, but has emerged to be one of the finest in Smartphones market and is getting bigger and bigger. To add to the spice, Facebook the social network which will turn 10 years old in 2014 claims to enter this battle with the launch of its new Android Smartphone. Tech analysts predict the Facebook phone to have big focus on the social network as expected.

My first mobile phone was the teeny weeny Nokia 1600 which weighed just 85g and could only give polyponic ring tones.I still remember changing the themes now and then though it supported very few. Gone are those days though!!!

Readers , remember your first mobile phone and the moments that you cherished with it? Share your experiences below. We’d love to hear them.

  • Thanks to the Info (History of Mobile Phone)
    My First mobile was Nokia 6610i which I got while in college 2nd year by 2005. yet to pass a Decade of Mobile usage.

  • Haripriya

    Good one Sindhu 🙂 🙂 Mine was ” The Phone with ultra – Durability !! ” – Nokia 1100 😛 😛 I have seen no phone as tough as this one… you know wat?? ” It still works ” 😛 😛