Smartphone is an essential gadget for everyone nowadays. The ancestor of today’s smartphone, the first cell phone, was created in 1973. Since then, almost everything about it has drastically changed.
Before cell phones, there were car phones. In fact, the original car phone weighed about 80 pounds. In 1947, an engineer at Bell Labs envisioned a futuristic phone network for their car phones. A call would bounce uninterrupted between ‘cells’ of coverage. At the time the technology and the infrastructure for this did not exist, but it soon would.
The car phones quickly became popular despite their limitations. Only a limited number of people could use the service at a time, which meant five-to-ten year waiting lists began to form. And existing customers could sometimes wait up to 30 minutes to place a call.
But then, in 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper showed what the future would look like: the DynaTAC 8000X. Based on Bell’s cell network concept, it was the world’s first handheld cell phone. 10 years and a one hundred million dollar investment later, Motorola finally released the phone to the public. The decade-long delay was caused by the need to build the cellular infrastructure the phone required to operate. The phone took 10 hours to charge, lasted 35 minutes, and cost $3,995, which would be about $10,000 today.
Ahead of its time, the IBM Simon could be considered the world’s first smartphone, the world’s first touchscreen phone, and the first phone to have software ‘apps.’ It cost $1,099 new — which would be about $1,800 today.
Just one month after one of the most popular Blackberry devices was released, the original iPhone hit shelves nationwide. It would go on to sell more than 6 million units, with new models introduced every year. The iPhone would forever change mobile phones, the computer industry, and all of technology forever.
Today’s cell phones are a far cry from the $10,000 DynaTAC phone of 1983. And for many people, the ‘Phone’ feature has become one of the least-used features. But in the future, phones could make another drastic change. The World Economic Forum thinks that the first implantable phones will become commercially available by 2024.