Journey of Mobile Phones
IN 1983: Martin Cooper called Joel Engel, a competitor working for Bell Labs, from 6th Avenue in New York using the world’s first mobile phone. But it takes a further 10 years for the first mobile to be marketed. Same year Motorola started selling the DynaTAC 8000X in the United States for $3,995 (about three lakh rupees in today’s prices).
IN 1992: Vodafone employee Richard Jarvis received the first text message. His computer wishes him “Merry Christmas”. The message was sold at auction in the form of an NFT in 2021 for $150,000.
IN 1997: Finnish brand Nokia began a string of innovations that pushes the boundaries of mobile. Its 6110 model introduces mobile games to the masses with “Snake”.
IN 1999: Nokia 7110 was the first phone to use wireless networks for browsing, and the same year the 3210 brought predictive writing to the world.
IN 2001: Japan was the first country to benefit from a 3G mobile network, allowing high-speed internet access. It comes with other Japanese innovations including a phone with video-calling capabilities, the Kyocera VP-210 in 1999.
IN 2002: The Sharp SH04, the first with a built-in back camera.
IN 2003: Nokia launched its affordable, robust 1100 model, targeting developing countries. It shifted 250 million units, making it the best-selling phone in history.
IN 2007: FirstiPhone “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone,” says Steve Jobs as he presents the iPhone to an adoring crowd in 2007. He promises an iPod, a phone and an “internet communicator” all in one device, which eventually retails for between $499 and $599. A year later the App store was introduced. The same year, the HTC Dream was the first smartphone released with Google’s Android operating system.
IN 2009: WhatsApp launched in 2009 and is quickly followed by many other messenger apps - Viber, WeChat, Telegram, Signal. These apps, which use the internet rather than traditional networks, have become more popular than SMS.
IN 2011: Allowing users of Apple’s iPhone 4S to send messages, set appointments, make calls or even search the internet by simply asking your phone. Google and Amazon developed competing voice assistants in the years after. In the same year, “emoji” fever seized the planet when the tiny faces, sketched in 1999, were integrated into the character library of the iPhone.
IN 2019: South Korea becomes the first country covered by 5G with the promise of even faster navigation. In the same year, South Korean firm Samsung and China’s Huawei were the first major manufacturers to release foldable screen smartphones, the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X.
IN 2023: Apple’s CEO Tim Cook arrived in India and opened its first physical stores in the country, marking a milestone for the iPhone maker in the world’s second largest smartphone market. He appeared at a second store opening in Delhi this month.