Back in November the smartphone reached its 20th birthday, getting its start in 1992 with the IBM Simon Personal Communicator. If you thought the Simon was an antique, it is an advanced piece of machinery compared to the cellphone that started it all, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x.
On April 3rd of 1973, Marty Cooper placed a call on the DynaTAC while walking along 6th Avenue in New York City. The call went out to his rival Joel Engle of Bell Labs and marks the very first time a cellphone was ever successfully used to make a call.
It’s crazy to think that the cellphone has really been around for forty years now. The tech world certainly has moved quickly in the last several decades, and this is equally true for mobile devices.
Today’s phones have cutting edge quad and even octa-core processors, full HD displays and hundreds of thousands of apps all while weighing only four to six ounces on average. The DynaTAC 8000x, on the other hand, weighed 2.5-pounds, was 10-inches in length, and had a battery capable of 20 minutes talk time. You can forget digital, this bad-boy used analog signals only.
Early cellphones like the prototype Motorola DynaTAC 8000x might seem like dinosaurs, but at the time they were nothing short of revolutionary. The telephone was certainly not a new technology, with the first land-line call taking place in 1876, but cellphones represented a big shift in the way communication worked.
No longer were people confined to their homes and offices when it came to taking calls. Regardless of their location, they were connected to the world around them and the people in it.
Since then, cellphone technology has become considerably more affordable and many of us have went through several different phones in the years that have passed. For me, my first cell was a Motorola MicroTAC Pro, which was given to me second-hand by my folks when I was a teenager. The phone had an ‘impressive’ talk plan that provided a whole 30 minutes a month. What about you, what was your very first cellphone?