From communicating with friends and family to running a business on the go, the mobile phone has become an inseparable companion. Today, new sleek and highly advanced smartphones are released almost every month, but the mobile phone has come a long way. In fact, very few people know that the first mobile phone was patented in 1908 in Kentucky as the first wireless phone! The historical path of these phones is indeed long and winding, let’s walk through the years to see how it has changed:

The first mobile phone

Though the first wireless phone was patented in 1908, it took more than 70 years for the first-ever portable mobile phone to reach the markets. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was released in 1983 and cost a staggering $4000! At the time, it was more of a status symbol and only the richest of the rich could afford one. This device could store no more than 30 numbers and offered 30 minutes of talk-time.

A few years later, in 1989, the DynaTAC 8000X was followed up by the Motorola 9800X. This was seen as the first-ever foldable phone, as it was designed with a fold-down keyboard. Ultimately, the 9800X set the grounds for the flip phone as we know it today.

The first digital phone

The mobile phones of the 1980s were extraordinary inventions, however, it lacked one thing: It wasn’t digital. The race was on to manufacture a phone that was both wireless and digital. Only by 1992, Motorola designed the world’s first digital mobile phone, the Motorola International 3200.

Going international

In the same year in which the first digital phone was released, Nokia joined the market. In 1992, Nokia released a phone that wasn’t only wireless and digital, but it could store up to 99 numbers and it could send and receive SMS messages. This new phone was named the Nokia 1011 and it was so popular, it was mass-produced and released around the globe. The only disadvantage of this new phone was that it was still incredibly expensive and very few could afford it.

The new phone on the block

Just before the turn of the century, a new mobile phone manufacturer appeared on the scene: BlackBerry or Research In Motion (RIM). In 1999, the BlackBerry 850 was released and was instantly the most popular phone on the market. Over the next 10 years, this company would go on to be one of the fastest-growing companies in the world.

The phone everyone had

In the early 2000s, the Nokia 3310 was released. It was a huge hit, especially among the youth. It was a smaller phone, had multiple functions, which included a game, and was quite reasonably priced. Today, this phone is known for its durability compared to phones released after it.

The rise of the flip phones

The 3310 was both durable and affordable, but the need for a more sophisticated and stylish phone increased. In 2004 Motorola designed and released the Razr V3. This phone, with its clamshell handset, became the best-selling flip phone in its range.

All about the “i”

At the end of the 2000s, there was suddenly a new name on everyone’s lips: Apple. Apple quickly became the leader in mobile phone manufacturing with their sleek designs, mobile applications and touchscreens. Today, the iPhone is still one of the best and most popular mobile phones and the company keeps making ground with their advanced designs.

Today’s mobile phones

Today, there are plenty of mobile phone manufacturers around the globe. A quick scroll through the latest Makro specials catalogue, and you’ll find a whole range of top-quality, highly advanced new smartphones to pick and choose from. Manufacturers have realised that consumers use their phones for a variety of functions and have now developed devices to suit almost any requirement, from automated scrolling functions to built-in voice-recognition sytems.

A lot has changed over the last 40 years; we’ve seen flip and foldable phones, waterproof phones and even phones that talk back. The mobile phone may be all grown up now, but phone manufacturers are still designing new and ground-breaking devices. Today, it’s all about convenience, so we can expect to see phones that have more automated abilities and robot-like functions. But who knows what the next 40 years will hold? Watch this space!


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