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Let’s start by giving you one fact: Motorola was founded in 1928. It’s not easy to stay alive in this industry for that long. Needless to say Motorola is a historic tech company by now, as well as one of the most important mobile pioneers and a very praised Android manufacturer.

There are plenty of factors that have helped it stay alive in this competitive market, and it’s not only their awesome handsets like the Moto X, Moto G and others. There’s a long history of victories behind them, and today we aim to highlight some of the most interesting facts revolving Motorola. Let’s jump right in!

See also:

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January 14, 2016

They invented car radios

You think Motorola is just following the crowd? Think again, because they don’t only make great phones, they are one of the most important companies in mobile communications. Motorola invented the very first car radio in 1930, a device that was initially only meant for the police (in the USA), and later evolved into two-way communication systems.

motorola-first-car-radio

… and walkie-talkies

Fast-forward 10 years and two-way radios no longer had to be attached to a vehicle in order to operate. Mobile communications became untethered with the introduction of the SCR-300, the first walkie-talkie.

You have seen those huge backpacks soldiers from World War II were carrying, right? Yep, that’s it. By today’s standard, that is not really a mobile device. It is a huge, heavy backpack, but imagine the impact that had in the battlefield.

motorola-walkie-talki

Oh, and pagers too

Continuing its mobile innovation roll, Motorola was also the first to release a pager, in 1956. They called it the Handie-Talkie radio pager, and it was mostly used in hospitals to send messages within a range of 40 km.

Cellphones? They invented that, as well!

Nokia may have the best-selling phone, while companies like Samsung and Apple currently rule the market, but when we think of innovation it is Motorola we should keep in mind. The company invented the very first cellphone. It was called the DynaTAC 8000x and was launched in 1983.

Ten years before, the first cellphone call was made. There’s actually a bit of a curious story to this. This call was made by Motorola employee Martin Cooper, in New York. He contacted AT&T’s Joel Engel. You know, just to let him know that the first cellphone call was being made, and it wasn’t by them.

Motorola-DynaTAC-phone

How the name came to be

As we mentioned in the first interesting fact listed here, Motorola’s business began with car radios. This is actually where the name came from. Motor obviously stands for its vehicular links, while ola was simply a popular ending for names during the time. Before this, Motorola was known as the Galin Manufacturing Corporation.

First radio company to land on the moon

You have all heard Neil Armstrong’s famous words, right? When he became the first human being to step foot on the moon he said: “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. Well, Motorola was there to provide the radio transponder that was used to send those words to planet earth.

moon-landing

They produced one of the best-selling phones of all times

Motorola falls behind manufacturers like Nokia and Samsung when it comes to top-selling handsets, but it sure beats Apple’s popular iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The Motorola RAZR was king of the US market and continues to be the best-selling clamshell handset, with over 130 million units sold. In comparison, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus only managed to hit 100 million, altogether.

motorola_razr

Thank Motorola for mobile web browsing

The Motorola iDEN i1000 Plus was the first smartphone to incorporate mobile browsing, as well as email and alphanumeric characters. Of course, it could also make calls, send messages, send faxes, act as a radio and more.

Motorola StarTAC

You remember this phone, right? I do. My mom had it, and it was all the craze back when it launched, in 1996. It was the lightest phone to hit the market at only 88 grams, and it also happens to be the very first clamshell cellphone to come to market. I still kind of like it, to be honest.

motorola-startac

Motorola is now owned by Lenovo

Well, at least the mobile division is. You are more likely to know this one, but just in case you have been living under a rock – Motorola Mobility was the product of a separation from Motorola Inc. Motorola Mobility was then acquired by Google for $12.5 billion, only to be resold to Lenovo in 2014.

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Wrapping up

I must accept that before writing this post I didn’t have the appreciation I now have for Motorola. They have done a lot for this industry, and that is something we must give them props for. Companies rise and fall all the time, and Motorola has been a constant in the market.

Hit the comment and let us know what you think of these interesting facts. Do you know any others?

Edgar Cervantes
Edgar Cervantes has over 5 years of experience in tech journalism. Exploring the latest gadgets and constantly studying the industry are part of is daily drive. Regardless of what he is working on, you can be sure he is always trying his best to bring you the best content. He will be dead honest and will bend to nothing.
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