First cell phone call kicks off an amazing journey (photos)

First cell phone call kicks off an amazing journey (photos)

Summary: When Marty Cooper called his rival 40-years ago, he knew he had something good, but no clue aout how good. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly models in cell phone history.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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  • Ericsson also gave us the world's first smart phone, the R380. The R380 was the first device to come equipped with the Symbian operating system and had all the functionality most businesspeople would take for granted: email, WAP, PIM.

    But aside from its innovative innards, this smart device was an interesting take on the traditional form factor. Like the T10 before it, the R380 had a flip-down element, although the R380 made the additional space more about functionality than form. By larding the flip-down section with buttons, it allowed the R380 to have additional screen size - a trick Sony Ericsson still uses on its business phones today.

    Photo credit: Ericsson

  • Nokia's first significant foray into a premium device for enterprises yielded the 9000, also known as the Communicator. While the device was never going to win any beauty contests - and its successors still bear the loving 'brick' soubriquet - it was packed with functionality for its time and designed with email-centric users in mind.

    As well as getting your email, you could also use the device to pick up faxes, access PIM-type services and even go on the internet and sync the whole lot with your PC. Back in 1996, Nokia announced it saw a big opportunity around "the pocketable office". It's still working on that with its E-series of business devices, as well as the lastest in the Communicator line, the 9500, which still bears the same unlovely design.

    Photo credit: Nokia

  • "I know kung-fu." So said Keanu Reeves' Matrix character Neo. As well as showcasing his acting and martial arts skills in the sci-fi blockbuster, Reeves introduced the world to the Nokia 8110 'banana phone', which allowed him to jump between worlds as well as providing voice calls and text messaging.

    The Matrix-inspired device with talk-of-the-town side-release button hit the market in 1998 and inaugurated the age of the hidden-button slider phone. It also inspired the 7110, Nokia's first WAP phone. While WAP back then turned out to be the mobile equivalent of coal in your Christmas stocking, the 7110 did cement the craze for the annoyingly addictive Snakes game.

    Photo credit: Nokia

Topic: Mobility

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  • Wow, 2 pretty stunning omissions

    Palm and Pocket PC / Windows Mobile. These were what apple put into their Xerox machine (the one they stole from Parc) in order to create the iphone.

    Kudos to Palm and Microsoft.
    toddbottom3
  • How convenient to forget about Newton...

    the progenitor of both Palm and Windows mobile. Your hate know no bounds...oh...and you know nothing you grade-school drop out!
    The Danger is Microsoft
  • Blackberry 7290...

    I've used one with GoAmerica with a data-only service and I liked it a lot. I also liked Windows Mobile 5.0 back around 2005 and two years later after my contract is up my UT-StarCom PPC-6700's resistive touch screen broke down on me (no, the glass wasn't broken, but the resistive touch screen got mis-calibrated like 10 pixels down when I tap with a stylus and it can't be fixed). I am cheap and I needed a way to get in contact using e-mail, Internet relay service (711), and instant messenger and be able to surf the web.

    By 2009, I've once got Samsung Ace with Windows Mobile 6.1 Smartphone Edition as it has a keyboard and no touchscreen. I've had to establish my credit with Sprint and I've never miss a payment. These days, I've pretty much only cared for data as I don't see myself using 200+ minutes of voice per month -- much less 100 or 50 as I don't talk a lot in the phone due to not having something like "HD Voice." I'm hearing impaired. But now, I have T-Mobile with $30/month 100 voice minutes, unlimited texting, and 5GB of 4G data/unlimited 2G data. And with what I'm paying for, that is the perfect solution I need.
    Grayson Peddie
  • Trivia Question

    Why was it called a "shoe phone"?
    ldo17
    • Shoe Phone

      In the 1960's spy sitcom Get Smart, agent 86, Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams, had a phone in one of his shoes (or maybe both? only one at a time ever rang), which rang with a standard landline bell sound when a call came in. To answer it, or make a call, he had to take his shoe off, slide the heel to one side to reveal a dial (yep, rotary dial), listen to the heel, and talk into the sole near the toe.

      As a father whose son was growing up in the 1980's, I was amused to note that Don Adams also did the voice for the kiddie police character Inspector Gadget, and basically, Gadget was the SAME CHARACTER as Maxwell Smart with a different job, and doing it the same humorously incompetent way. One thing that was creepier was that the animated character had telescoping metal prosthetic limbs, though. But Gadgets little niece Penny and her dog (both smarter than her uncle) had the first laptop with universally available wi-fi, usually using it to hack the bad guy's machines and save her uncle. So Adams was connected indirectly with two "tech predictions" on television.
      jallan32
  • Xelibri by Siemens (9 of 13 above)

    I never saw one of those in real life, but with the pink trim, it must have been marketed to young ladies. It even opens like a package of birth control pills with buttons where the pills would be (but the wrong spacing). That would have made it scary to PARENTS of American teenage girls, but since it was sold in Japan, that would not be a problem.
    jallan32