Follow us on Twitter @AJCBiz
Remember your first cellular phone? Was it the size of a lunchbox?
For those of you into milestones, today is the 40th anniversary of the ubiquitous cell phone. The Motorola DynaTAC made its debut April 3, 1973, a creation of engineer Martin Cooper.
The first device weighed a little over 2 pounds, was 9 inches tall, relied on 30 circuit boards and took 10 hours to recharge. Cooper told UK’s The Telegraph that “you could only talk for 20 minutes before the battery ran out…which is just as well because you would not be able to hold it up for much longer.”
Cooper’s first call was to Bell Labs rival Joel Engel: “Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone.” The phone was priced at $4,000 when it went on sale in 1983.
Today the wireless phone is a mini computer. It is a fraction of its original size and weight, provides all manner of news and information, photo and video sharing, and social media interaction – and it’s way cheaper even with a data plan.
There were 6.8 billion mobile connections worldwide at the end of 2012, a figure expected to grow to 9.7 billion by the end of 2017, according to GSMA, which represents 750 mobile operators around the world. According to a study by GSMA and researchers at A.T. Kearney, the $1 trillion mobile phone industry will have more than 4 billion subscribers by 2018.
When it comes to smartphone market share, Motorola ranks No.4 behind Apple, Samsung and HTC, according to comScore. Motorola is followed by LG.
The Telegraph noted that “it’s fitting” Motorola is now owned by Google. “The company that made the first mobile phone has been consumed by the company whose services now dominate most smartphones.”
What was your first mobile phone? Could you imagine life without it?