Cell phones have come a long way since their inception. It has been 41 years since Motorola first demonstrated the worlds first handheld cellphone. On 3 April 1973 when Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from a handheld subscriber equipment, placing a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs. Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was the first commercial handheld cellular phone was released by Motorola in 1983. It weighed around 1.1 kg and offered around 30 minutes of talktime on full charge. It could store only 30 contacts at the most and took 10 hours to full charge. It was a true revolution in those times and people went crazy for this device. After that in 1989 came the Motorola MicroTAC which was the first flip phone ever made. Then came the Motorola StarTAC in 1996 which was the first modern truly portable cell phone which weighed around 88 g.
The first touch screen phone came around 1994. It was the IBM’s Simon. It had a black and white touch screen which replaced the physical buttons. It didn’t generate much hype at the time though. Touchscreens date back to the 1950’s but the IBM Simon marked the birth of first ever mass produced touchscreen cell phone.
Around the 2000’s cellphones have started coming in more and more portable and user friendly avatars. The era of NOKIA had begun. Then came the Nokia 7110 which was the first phone capable of internet connectivity which had a wap browser. Then came the awesome NOKIA 3310 on September 1, 2000. Now this was some phone. It is best built gadget ever. It was built like a tank, better than a tank actually. There are many videos on YouTube trying to destroy this tank but almost all of them fail drastically doing so. In 2002, Nokia released the first ever color screen phone which had the first ever camera on a cell phone. The camera is of 0.3 megapixels and took great photos for a handheld device at that time. Then came the Nokia 1100 in 2003. Now this phone took the market by storm. More than 250 million 1100’s were sold since its launch. This made this the worlds best selling consumer electronic device in the ever.
In 2000 when the Nokia was taking this world by storm Samsung released the Samsung SPH-M100 which was the first ever phone that could play MP3 music. In 2001 Sony released the Ericsson T39 which was the first ever phone with built in Bluetooth. In 2003 BlackBerry released their first phone called the BlackBerry Quark 6210. Sony released the worlds first front facing camera phone called the Sony Ericsson Z1010. The camera was mainly used for video calling and those occasional photos which we call selfies now.
Next came what I consider the most beautiful piece of hardware ever, the Moto Razr. The Motorola Razr series was released in 2004. It was a fashion statement at that time and it sold like hotcakes all over the world. It wasn’t very user friendly and the software was crappy but it looked like a super model compared to other phones at that time. Around 150 million of them were sold till date. It was hard to resist buying it.
Then in 2005 came the Nokia N series phones. The most popular among them are the N70 series phones. We can see people using those phones today.
U know what comes next. Yes, you’ve guessed it right. Its the apple iPhone. In 2007, Apple Inc unveiled the Apple iPhone, which was the world’s first advanced touchscreen smartphone. It’s the first phone to have an operating system, the iOS, and by enabling apps to run on the phone, it had allowed cellphones to become the primary mobile device of use. Having an iPhone became a source of pride. It was true work of innovation.
2008 marked the best year for the smartphone industry as Google announced their Android operating system and unveiled the HTC G1. It is the first ever device running the Android operating system which went onto become the most popular operating system in the world today. That year also marked the release of the Apple iPhone 3g which was hugely popular.
2009 did not mark any important changes in the industry. Phones like the BlackBerry Bold, Motorola Droid, iPhone 3gs, BlackBerry Storm were the most popular ones that year. The HTC HD2 was the most versatile smartphone ever built. It has been modded extensively to run all sorts of operating systems. Even the windows 8 was made to run on it. It is the dream phone of any developer.
2010 had some pretty interesting phones to offer. Some of them were the Apple iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia N8, Nexus one were the most popular ones. That year also marked the advent of windows phone 7 running devices like HTC HD7, LG Optimus 7 etc…
2011 was the start of a brand name which in a sense killed Nokia. The Lumia 800 was released running the windows phone 7.5 operating system. This year also made the Nexus brand popular through the Galaxy Nexus. Samsung was quickly becoming the best smartphone manufacturer through the galaxy s2 which was hugely popular among the consumers. Apple also released their iPhone 4s which also sold in huge numbers. Samsung also announced the experimental Galaxy Note which wasn’t appreciated by the then consumers.
2012 was the year in which according to me the best looking smartphones came out into the market. The iPhone 5, HTC OneX, Google Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, HTC Butterfly(Droid DNA) and the Nokia Lumia 920 are one of the best looking phones ever built. The Galaxy S3 was the best selling phone that year and broke all the sales records that year. Over 30 million galaxy S3’s were sold throughout the year. Samsung Note 2 was released and it did manage to find some traction in the market. The Nexus brand also became highly desirable for its high value.
2013 saw some significant industry firsts. A Flexible display on the LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round. A 42 Mega Pixel camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020. Google bought the Motorola and released the Moto G and Moto X which were critically acclaimed in the market and provided the company a grand comeback. A fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5s which actually worked. The Note 3 was the best phone in the Note series yet and was a popular option among consumers. The Galaxy S4 was not a big game changer but it sold in huge numbers. HTC released the HTC One(M7) with their propriety Ultra Pixel camera technology, made by a beautiful aluminum body. Sony released their Xperia Z smartphones which brought waterproofing and dust resistance to a flagship smartphone with IP67 rating.
2014 saw a great amount of awesome smartphones. Some of them include the HTC ONE(M8), Xperia Z2 and Z3, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and the Nexus 5. Apple has announced its so called revolutionary iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Windows acquired Nokia and released many great smartphones like Lumia 1520 and 930(Icon).
The smartphone industry has come a long way since 1973. Today’s phones have everything we need and more. But our smartphone makers have stopped experimenting with design. All we have now are slabs of metal and plastic. In the era of Nokia ( 2000-2008) we had a hell of a lot of form factors and beautiful designs. We need that kind of competition among manufacturers now.
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