The Mobile Phone through the Years – An Epic Lookback

You probably have it on you right now, don’t you? What am I talking about? Your mobile phone, of course!

Whether you’re a Samsung gal, an iPhone fan, a Blueberry lover or a cheerleader for HTC; this little gadget has drastically changed the way we talk and communicate with each other. Since we owe so much to this device, we thought tog going down the memory lane and checking out how the mobile phone first started. From the chunky Motorola to the svelte, iPhone 5 (or maybe iPhone 6) of today, it all started somewhere.

So here we go:

April 3, 1973Martin Cooper stood on the busy New York street, a 1.1 kilogram handset on hand. He was standing in front of reporters as he called his rival company and informed them he was speaking through a mobile phone.

1983 – Ten years from that initial call, Motorola released the DynaTAC. This was as portable as you could get back in the day. It had 30 minutes of talk time, 6 hours in standby mode and a whopping 30-number phone storage! Oh, and it also cost more than $3000!

1990s – It wasn’t until 1997 that Nokia released one of the most revolutionary mobiles in terms of design and portability of that time, the Nokia 6110. It has a mini antenna, can be held with one hand and SNAKE (!) in black and white, of course. Not to be outdone, originators, Motorola released the StarTAC, which took inspiration from the communicator Captain Kirk and crew used. Its flip open design was a big hit and we remember it as the first clamshell mobile ever made.

1998 – Nokia upped their standards and released the 5110. It had great battery life and a slim design (for 1998) and it had SNAKE! 

1999 – It was this time when Blackberry entered the market with their Blackberry 850. This was the first one they released and brought them celebrity status as the fastest growing company on the planet...a reign that would last for two decades or so.

2000 – Nokia was the Apple of the 90s. They released the Nokia 3310 and pretty much every kid in school had one. It’s a solid phone with no visible antenna and SNAKE, of course. It’s still considered by many as one of the best phones there ever was. 

2002 – Samsung had no Android then, but they did include a revolutionary matrix LCD display in the SGH-T100.

2003Blackberry 5810 was small and required a headphone for you to talk to but it had email and the famous QWERTY. 

2004 – One of the very first ‘fashion phones’ the Motorola Razr was a big hit! It sold more than 130 million units in a three year span and is still considered as the best selling phone with clamshell design ever!

2005BlackBerry 7270 was released and everyone got Crackberry! It was the first phone to feature Wi-Fi. Hello, Internet!

2006 – The Nokia N95 was considered as the first true blue smartphone. It has 160 RAM and packed in a Bluetooth, Wi-fi and a 5 MP camera.

2007 – Saw the release of the LG Shine which offered a microSD external slot.

2008 – This was a big year for the smartphone. The biggest player (even today) released the Apple iPhone 3G which, it’s safe to say, made touch screen devices and sleek designs, the norm.

And things just got crazier – and better – from here on out.

Apple continued to revolutionise the market with its iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4/4s and of course, the iPhone 5 (and its cheaper cousins iPhone 5s/5c). Even now, the long awaited Apple iPhone 6, due out this September is thought to continue the tradition and deliver something unexpected.

Not to be outdone, Samsung also transformed into a leading smartphone maker. They developed their Android devices and released such amazing models as the Galaxy Series. They are considered to be one of Apple’s main rival when it comes to the market.

Sadly, BlackBerry crashed and burned after attempting to join the smart phone market. Their BlackBerry Z10 had fans but so few of them remain. Nokia has also quietly disappeared. Although they continue to release phones, they have become one of the benchwarmers instead of the major stars. Motorola has also exited the market. Newcomers like HTC are the ones that stepped up, taking a bite out of the audience pie.

Whew, now that’s a long history! The good news is, we can only expect better and more improved phones from here on out. But you got to admit, there were some pretty neat gadgets back then, don’t you think? Which one was your favourite? Let us know below.

Cam :)