The History of Cell Phones
1 Before the creation of cell phones, 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 and make a phone call. People were used to using public pay phones, and using public pay phones was not a problem for most people. The general public may have been satisfied with this method of communication; 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 cell phone testing began in 1977. The first trials began in Chicago, and eventually other cell phone 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 cell phone 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 an explosion of other communication companies scrambling to produce their own cell phones. Although the general public had more cell phone choices, cell phones remained quite expensive. Most cell phones created during the 1980s sold between $350 and $500. This meant that cell phones remained a luxury that many people just could not afford. 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 cell phones became smaller and more affordable.
4 Cell phones were no longer seen as a luxury item for the rich and famous. Now, the general public could hop aboard the cell phone craze that was sweeping across America. Eventually, the American public demanded more from their cell phone providers. People wanted cell phones 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 became the world’s first smartphone. Simon was designed to be a cellphone and a computer. The cell phone cost $900 and had a pager, E-mail, complete keypad, and a calendar. Only 2,000 Simon personal communicator phones were made. In 2002, the first phones with built-in cameras became publicly available. The Blackberry was released in 2003, and it was the first cell phone 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.
6 According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, there are more than 60 million customers with cellular phones. The cellular phone business was a $3 million dollar market 25 years ago. However, it has grown to be a $30 billion per year industry.