Although most of united state feel like we couldn't live there is no our mobile phones, they've no really been in existence for very long.

In fact, mobile phones as we know them today have only been roughly in the critical 20 years.

When were cellphones invented?

Mobile phones, an especially the smartphones the have come to be our inseparable companions today, are fairly new.

However, the background of smart phones goes ago to 1908 once a us Patent was issued in Kentucky because that a wireless telephone.

Mobile phones were designed as at an early stage as the 1940s when designers working at AT&T developed cells for mobile phone base stations.

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The really first mobile phones were not really cellphones at all. They to be two-way radios that allowed people prefer taxi drivers and also the emergency services to communicate.

Instead the relying on basic stations with separate cells (and the signal gift passed from one cabinet to another), the very first mobile phone networks involved one very an effective base station extending a much broader area.

Motorola, on 3 April 1973 were very first company come mass create the the very first handheld mobile phone.

These beforehand mobile phones are frequently referred to as 0G cell phone phones, or Zero Generation mobile phones. Many phones today rely on 3G or 4G mobile technology.

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Landmarks in cell phone history

Mobile telephony has a long history that began off through experiments of communications from and to moving automobile rather then handheld devices.

In later years, the main difficulties have set in the breakthrough of interoperable standard and also coping v the explosive success and ever increasing need for bandwidth and also reliability.

1926: The first successful cell phone telephony service was readily available to very first class passengers on the Deutsche Reichsbahn on the route in between Berlin and also Hamburg.

1946: The an initial calls to be made ~ above a automobile radiotelephone in Chicago. Due to the small number of radio frequencies available, the company quickly got to capacity.

1956: The very first automated mobile phone system for exclusive vehicles released in Sweden. The maker to download in the vehicle used vacuum tube technology with rotating dial and also weighed 40Kg.

It had actually a complete of 125 subscribers in between Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Photo: Ericsson

1969: The Nordic mobile Telephone (NMT) group was established. It consisted of engineers representing Sweden, Denmark, Norway and also Finland. Its purpose was to construct a mobile phone mechanism that, uneven the solution being presented in the US, concentrated on accessibility.

1973: Dr young name Cooper general manager at Motorola interactions system department made the very first public cell phone phone call on a device that sweet 1.1Kg.

1982: Engineers and administrators from eleven European nations gathered in Stockholm to think about whether a Europe large digital to move phone device was technically and also politically possible. The group embraced the nordic model of cooperation and laid the foundation of an worldwide standard.

1985: Comedian Ernie wise made the very first “public” cell phone phone contact in the UK from external the Dicken’s Pub in St Catherine’s dock come Vodafone’s HQ. He made the call in complete Dickensian coachman’s garb.

1987: The technical specifications for the GSM standard room approved. Based upon digital technology, it concentrated on interoperability across national boundaries and also consequent various frequency bands, speak to quality and low costs.

1992: The world’s very first ever SMS blog post was sent out in the UK. Neil Papworth, age 22 at the time was a developer because that a telecom contractor tasked with occurring a messaging company for Vodafone. The text blog post read “Merry Christmas” and also was sent to Richard Jarvis, a director at Vodafone, that was enjoying his office Christmas party.

1996/97: UK phone ownership stood in ~ 16% of households. A decade later on the number was 80%. The explosion in development was in component driven the launch of the first pay as you go, non-contract phone service, Vodafone Prepaid, in 1996.

1998: The an initial downloadable content sold to cellphones was the ringtone, released by Finland's Radiolinja, laying the groundwork because that an market that would eventually see the stunner Frog ringtone rack up complete earnings of half a exchange rate dollars and beat stadium-filling sob-rockers Coldplay come the number one spot in the UK charts.


1999: Emojis were designed by Shigetaka Kurita in Japan. Unlike their all-text predecessors emoticons, emojis space pictures.The very same year in the UK watch the first shots fired in a supermarket price war, through Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda selling Pay and also Go phones at discounted prices. Because that the very first time, you can pick up a mobile phone for just under £40.

The very first BlackBerry phone was also unveiled in 1999. Renowned for that super-easy email service, BlackBerry handsets were viewed as the ultimate business tool, allowing users to read and respond come emails native anywhere. This brought about 83% of users reading and also responding to work-related emails while on holiday, and over half admitted to sending out emails ~ above the toilet, win the manufacturer the nickname CrackBerry.

2000: The all-conquering Nokia 3310 crash landed on shop shelves. Normally it was unscathed and also went on to sell 126 million units. Over in Japan, the an initial commercially accessible camera phone The sharp J-SH04, launched in November 2000 in Japan. The only snag? you might only usage it in Japan. Europe wouldn’t obtain its first camera phone until the arrival of the Nokia 6750 in 2002.


2003: The 3G standard began to be adopted worldwide, kicking turn off the age of mobile internet and also paving the means for the rise of smartphones. Honk Kong-based Hutchinson Wampoa owned three brand offered the very first 3G network connection in the UK among other countries.Staying very much on-brand, 3 ranged a trio of 3G handsets, namely: the Motorola A830, the NEC e606 and NEC e808.


CC BY-SA 2.0

Nepal was one of the an initial countries in southerly Asia come launch 3G services. Among Nepal’s first companies to offer the service, Ncell, likewise covered mount Everest with 3G.

2007: The iphone phone debuted. Solely available on O2 in ~ launch in the UK and priced at a climate eye-watering $499, Nokia CEO confidently dismissed it together little more than a ‘cool phone’ that wouldn’t translate column inch into market share.

2008: The first Android phone call turned up, in the kind of the T-Mobile G1. Now dubbed the O.G the Android phones, it to be a long means from the luxury Android smartphones we usage today. No least since it retained a physical keyboard and also a BlackBerry-style trackball for navigation. This year likewise saw the arrival of both Apple’s app Store and Android Market, later renamed Google beat Store, paving the means for our modern-day app culture and creating a $77 exchange rate industry.

2009: O2 publicly announced the it had successfully demonstrated a 4G link using 6 LTE poles in Slough, UK. The technology, i beg your pardon was offered by Huawei, accomplished a optimal downlink rate of 150Mbps.

WhatsApp also launched the year, letting customers send and also receive calls and messages via the internet. The messaging device now has actually 1.2 billion users sending more than 10 exchange rate messages a day. Which renders it 50% much more popular than traditional texting.


2010: Samsung released its very first Galaxy S smartphone. Usurping former Android giants, HTC, the Samsung Galaxy S range is still the most popular Android brand.

2012: when text messages very first arrived, most people didn’t think they’d catch on. Ten year later, Britons were sending out a billion messages per month. In 2012, British message volume got to its greatest point, v 151 billion sent out in the UK alone.

2016: The Pokemon Go application launched worldwide. The cost-free augmented reality game uses the smartphone camera and location to show Pokemon personalities in the genuine world. The aim of the video game is to travel to various locations to collect as countless Pokemon together possible, leading many gamers to walk into lamp-posts in their pursuit to capture ‘em all.

2017: The Nokia 3310 had a revival, sporting a fresh version equipped with simple web browsing, a colourful screen and even a camera. In spite of this, it still maintained our favourite attributes from the initial 3310, including the top design, super-long battery life and even one updated variation of Snake. Needless come say, the stole the display at the Mobile civilization Congress (MWC) technology expo and was one of the best hits of the year.

Apple significant ten years in the smartphone video game with the all-screen iphone phone X and also ditched a physical home button for the first time.

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Landmark phones: the handsets that made history

From ‘80s menhir-like “brickphones” come the iconic Nokia handsets, these are several of the phones that propelled the boundaries of what was feasible and paved the way for today’s smartphones.

1985: Motorola Dynatac 8000X

Known in the industry as “the brick” and also visible in countless scenes the the 1987 movie wall surface Street, the Motorola Dynatac 800X to be the first handheld cell phone phone and loudly announced the start of a new era.

The price? one eye-watering £3,000.

1992: Nokia 1011

The world’s first mass produced phone that used the brand-new GSM digital standard, the Nokia 1011 was ‘available in any kind of colour, as lengthy as it’s black’.

Specs included a monochrome LCD screen, extendable antenna and a memory qualified of save on computer 99 phone call numbers.

1996: Motorola StarTAC

Motorola Star Tac through Nkp911m500 GFDL via Wikimedia Commons

The most expensive and also desirable phone on the industry at the moment of its release, the StarTac debuted the clamshell design and also was the lightest and also smallest call on the market.

It was additionally the an initial phone to be openly marketed together a luxury item.

1997: The Hagenuk GlobalHandy

This tiny known German-made and also impractically minimal handset was the very first phone that had no visible outside antenna.

1998: Siemens S10

The very first phone through a colour screen, Siemens’ S10 to be a landmark maker by any kind of yardstick.

Although its uninspiring design and also tiny 97 x 54-pixel screen failed to set the world on fire, it an ext than merits a place in the annals the mobile phone call history.

1998: Nokia 5110


Nokia 5110 by CSIRO CC through 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sponsor that London Fashion main in 1999, it to be an prompt success and also kickstarted the vogue for customising her handset.

1999: Nokia 7110


Nokia 7110

Another first for the Finnish phone-maker, the 7110 was the very first handset to attribute a WAP browser.

That supposed it was capable of searching the internet. Or at the very least a stripped down and incredibly sluggish version of it that was of small use to most people.

But for all that, it was a large step towards the multi-functionality it is at the core of today’s smartphones.

1999: Motorola Timeport


Motorola Timeport

This was the an initial tri-band GSM phone, meaning it operated everywhere roughly the world.

A must-have because that self-proclaimed citizen of the world. And the hordes the Gen X-ers heading to Asia ~ above the backpacker trail. Together was the fashion that the time.

2000: Nokia 9210 Communicator


Nokia 9210

The first serious attempt at one internet-enabled cell phone phone, the Communicator was ahead that its time.

It weighed approximately 400g, so to be no-one’s idea of pocket-sized. Yet on the to add side, it had actually 8MB the storage and a full keyboard, you could use it together a an individual organiser, and a internet browser and email support.

2000: spicy J-SH04


Sharp J-SH04 by Morio GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Billed as the very first commercially available camera phone, Sharp's effort was only sold in Japan and also had a camera resolution that 0.11MP. ‘Blurrycam’ didn’t start to sheathe it.

2000: Nokia 3310


Nokia 3310 by Multicherry CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Legendarily sturdy, the 3310 to be the phone that released a thousands memes. And with 126 million devices shifted, was standing as among the biggest-selling phone call of all time.

The battery lasted for days and it to be light and also truly pocketable at only 133g.

It likewise introduced the snake game, customisable ringtones and a silent 'vibrate' mode.

2003: Nokia 1100

The Nokia 1100 was launched as a basic phone because that developing-world countries earlier in 2003.

The best part of a decade and also a half and one smartphone eight later, it stays the best selling mobile phone of every time.

2004: Motorola Razr V3


Motorola Razr V3 by OptoScalpel via Wikimedia Commons

The last an excellent flip phone, the Razr to be impossibly slim at just 14mm. Unusually because that the time, it additionally had an aluminium casing that looked achingly slick.

Ironically, the overwhelming success of the Razr was most likely the main reason of the downfall the Motorola.

In hindsight, it’s noticeable that the us phone-maker’s over-reliance ~ above this successful and iconic collection caused the agency to loss behind, failing come innovate and compete through the soon-to-arrive large-screen phones indigenous LG and also Samsung.

2003: Blackberry 6210

The an initial true Blackberry phone, which integrated a call with totally functioning email, net browsing and the much loved Blackberry Messenger.

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The Nokia years

Tracing its heritage to paper production, Nokia gone into the telecommunications industry an initial as a supplier of telecommunications equipment to the military and entered the mobile sector in the late ‘80s.

Released in 1987, the Mobira Cityman brickphone was Nokia’s answer to the Motorola Dynatac and also was an early hit because that the nascent company.

But as Nokia’s first GSM phone, the 1011 in 1992, and 1994’s 2100 design that precipitated the Finnish giant’s increase to the top.

Marketed to the service market, the 2110 featured the architecture that happened known together the “candybar” format.

It was the lightest and also smallest GSM phone available at the time and featured the straightforward to usage Nokia food selection system.

It was also the very first phone to market a an option of ringtones and marked the debut of the melody that came to be known as “the Nokia ringtone”, based on the cool Valse ingredient for classic guitar.

In the ‘90s, Nokia released much more handsets than any kind of of the rivals and also in 1998 overtook Motorola to become the best-selling mobile phone call brand in the world.

By the center of 1999, Nokia’s Expression series, comes to dominate the industry with the relax of the 3210.


The 3210 to be the very first to popularise the unmistakable small-candybar shape which was the occupational of british designer Alastair Curtis.

Its fairly low cost, under £200 on release in the UK, yet a lot much less by the end of 2000, meant this 3210 was affordable for young people and folk who’d been shut out of the mobile phone market until now. The an outcome was 160 million sales worldwide.

Within a year, the smaller 3310 to be released. It was not a revolutionary update from that is predecessor, however its compact design, four integrated games (Pairs II, space Impact, Bantumi, and Snake II) and the truth it can support lengthy SMS message of approximately 459 personalities made that a success.

But it was the phone’s sturdy construction and also legendary integrity that turned it right into an enduring cult. And the best part of 20 years later, tho inspires memes and favourable comparisons come fragile, contemporary smartphones.

Capitalising on a tide of nostalgia, in 2017 Nokia announced the relax of one all-new 3310.

Featuring an updated design based ~ above the initial candy bar shape, the 3310 variation 2.0 included a huge 2.4-inch LCD screen, rear camera and an astonishing 25-day standby battery life.

Marketed both together a tribute to the original as well as an alternative to ever-more complex, an ext advanced smartphones, the new 3310 was priced at approximately £50 SIM totally free and was a middle commercial success.


The spread out of 2G an innovation and early success of Blackberry phones influenced Nokia to experiment through physical QWERTY keyboards.

The 6800 was notable with its unusual fold-out keyboard, with integrated email and also support because that Blackberry emails.

The at an early stage 2000s were also a time the wild experimentation and Nokia appeared to aim at to relax a call to fit every taste.

It was additionally the era as soon as mobile phones came to be fashion accessories and also the firm certainly wasn’t fear to lug to industry phones v an interval on style. Arguably end substance.


Take the around square 7600, for instance. Its shape meant it was difficult to organize in one hand. And because you had actually to hold it in ~ an angle, that was tough to do calls too.


Then come the 5510 the was basically a keyboard-shaped phone. Nokia was conscious that the form was viewed as unconventional, come say the least.

So much that in their flagship advertisement for the 5510, the call is proper shown and the ad closes through the slogan “Looks weird, sounds right”.


The 3650 was among the early on experiments with keyboard layout. It was marketed as a luxury phone, but the rotary-styled keypad style made it tough to usage for texting.


Next was an even stranger layout in the form of the 2300, which was a basic phone with key shapes the didn’t seem to follow any kind of logic.

A relatively ordinary variant on the 3100 series, the 3220 had actually a mechanism of LEDs on the political parties that could be setup to speed in various colours.

On very first impressions 2007’s Xpress Music featured a relatively standard kind factor. However the twisted was the the camera can only be allowed by swivelling the bottom half.

Probably the oddest that the lot, the 7280 had neither a touchscreen or a keypad. And also if you wanted to send a message message, you had actually to scroll with each letter with a physics spin dial.


It wasn’t until the N95 in 2006 the Nokia exit what might truly be termed a smartphone. It came through the longest perform of attributes you could imagine at the time: wifi, net browsing, a five-megapixel camera and also even built-in GPS.

It offered well, registering over 1 million sales in the UK alone. And also for a couple of months, it seemed Nokia had regulated to store Blackberry’s challenge at bay, while establishing a brand-new benchmark the what a mobile phone could and also should offer.

But the great times weren’t to last. 2007 experienced the release of the iphone that introduced the touchscreen era and made Nokia’s Symbian operating system and also its dependency on drill-down menus, it seems ~ cumbersome.

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The advance of mobile phone call technology


The very first mobile phone invented for helpful use was by a Motorola employee called Martin Cooper who is widely thought about to it is in a vital player in the background of mobile phones.

Handsets that might be offered in a car had been occurred prior to Martin Cooper’s phone, however his was the first usable important portable mobile telephone.

Cooper make mobile phone background in April 1973 as soon as he make the an initial ever speak to on a handheld mobile phone.

2017 and also beyond


Modern-day smartphones room pretty unrecognisable from the analogue bricks we provided to cart around.

The likes the 2017’s iphone X and also Samsung S8 have brought us stunning all-screen fronts that are perfect because that watching videos and playing games. Meanwhile their face-scanning an innovation enables you to unlock your device just by looking at it.

Professional dual-lens cameras are now becoming standard on high-end smartphones when the handsets themselves are ending up being ever more durable, with impressive waterproofing and tough Gorilla Glass screens.

Yet despite all this, Nokia’s 2017 renewal of that is old classic, the Nokia 3310, was probably the many talked-about phone of the year, proclaiming in a tide of nostalgia for older, simpler devices.

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