In today’s world, technology and mankind are but two halves of a whole. Millions of gadgets have been made and rendered obsolete, but no single gadget has had as much of an influence on the world as a smartphone.

Now, the average person uses their smartphone at least 2,617 times per day. Surprisingly, more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet. Every year, we spend an average of around 800 hours on our mobile devices. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, the figures have skyrocketed. It’s no surprise that the last decade has been tagged as the ‘decade of the smartphone.’

Back in the 90s, their only function was to help us connect with other people digitally. Later on, the ability to send text messages to other cell phones was introduced. Currently, smartphones are used to do literally everything. From booking flight tickets to tracking your heart rate, the smartphone of today has almost no limits.

The First-Ever Phone Call

The first-ever call from a mobile phone was actually made ten years before any device came into the marketplace. Senior engineer of Motorola, Martin Cooper, made the first-ever call from a handheld device to Joel Engel, his rival at Bell Labs, while out in New York City. He informed his rival that he was speaking on a mobile phone. The device used was a prototype of their DynaTAC model — the first handheld device available in the marketplace, which was released ten years later.

This mobile phone was then available at a whopping US$4,000 and was a huge status symbol during that time (1983). In 1985, the first phone call was made on UK soil to the then Chairman of Vodafone, Sir Ernest Harrison. Four years later, Motorola followed up the DynaTAC with the 9800X or MicroTAC. This particular device came with a fold-down keyboard that set the trend throughout the 90s.

The 90s

Motorola dominated the mobile phone market throughout the 80s until Nokia came into the scenario with their consumer-based models in the early 90s. Everyone was seen with a mobile phone, not just the Wall Street elite. And, thus began the mobile revolution with the release of Nokia’s flagship model.

It wasn’t until 1999 when Nokia released the 7110 model that introduced wireless data to mobile phones. A year later, the Japanese unveiled their J-SH04 that came with an inbuilt camera. Later, with the release of the Sony Ericsson T68i in 2008, the western obsession with mobile photography was ignited.

The Mobile Revolution

In the next few years, mobile phones with various features surfaced the marketplace. Between the flip phones and sliding qwerty keypads, mobile designers experimented with different looks and specifications.

The actual mobile revolution occurred in 2007, however, with the introduction of the Apple iPhone. With the touchscreen feature, the iPhone became the smoothest and most modern of all the mobile phones. People rushed to purchase this new supercomputer they could easily fit into their pockets.

Apple went ahead of the competition as other mobile manufacturers struggled to hold their position. Even today, most apps are built on their platform and adjusted to fit the other providers.

Moving Ahead

Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our lives. With 5G becoming more widespread this year, we will see high-speed data and an increase in streaming ability. Mobile devices will continue to drastically change to meet the demand for more accurate and faster access.

Mobile devices have given us more security and connectivity and the ability to make our day-to-day lives simpler. With engineers and developers pushing the limits of their imagination on their capabilities, we’re definitely going to witness some amazing new tech in the years to come.



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