The History of Cellphones
1 Before the creation of cellphones, if people needed to make a telephone call while they were away from home, all they had to do was to find the nearest pay phone. People were used to using public pay phones; however, communication experts at Motorola were about to take communication to a place it had never been before. In 1973, Dr. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the first portable handset, introduced the Motorola Dyna-Tac, which was the first working prototype of a cellular telephone. Dr. Cooper and the Motorola Dyna-Tac completely revolutionized the communication industry.
2 Public cellphone testing began in 1977 in Chicago, and eventually other cellphone trials appeared in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area. Japan began testing cellular phone service in 1979. Motorola released the Dyna-Tac to the general public at a price of almost $4,000. Because the very first public cellphone was so expensive, only the wealthy could afford it. The Motorola Dyna-Tac became a status symbol for the rich and famous. The handheld phone weighed almost 2 pounds, and its rechargeable battery lasted about eight hours.
3 During the 1980s, there was flurry of other communication companies scrambling to produce their own cellphones. This meant the general public had more affordable cellphone choices. In 1988, the Cellular Technology Industry Association (CTIA) was developed to provide practical goals for cellular phone providers. This was good news for the general public because cellphones became smaller and more affordable.
4 Because cellphones were no longer seen as a luxury item for the rich and famous, the American public demanded more from their cellphone providers. People wanted cellphones that could do what computers were capable of doing. This demand led to the original smartphone.
5 In 1993, Bellsouth and IBM announced their creation of the Simon personal communicator phone, which was the world’s first smartphone. Simon was designed to be a cellphone and a computer. The Simon cellphone cost $900 and had a pager, E-mail, complete keypad, and a calendar. Only 2,000 Simon personal communicator phones were made.
6 In 2002, the first cellphones with built-in cameras became publicly available. The Blackberry was released in 2003, and it was the first cellphone to offer E-mail, texting, a web browser, and messaging. In January 2007, Apple launched its first iPhone which featured a touch screen, mobile phone, an iPod, and a wireless communication device. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), there are more than 60 million cellphone customers, and the CTIA is a $30 billion per year industry.