Mobile Phone Technology over the years

It is rather hard to believe that mobile phones have been a part of our lives for 40 years. Okay, they may not have been quite as common a sight way back in 1976 but they were certainly out there and although they bear almost no resemblance to the smartphones of today, they really did change the way that we communicate forever.

The word ‘Brick’ is commonly used to describe the somewhat cumbersome appearance of early mobile phones but did you know that the earliest Motorola models were nicknamed shoe phones because of their resemblance to a boot? This type of device would have cost the equivalent of over $9,000 in the seventies and it makes you wonder who on earth could consider shelling out the price of a new car for something we can get hold of today for not much more than a packet of cigarettes.

In fact, mobile phones weren’t really designed to slide into your pocket until the early nineties. Motorola’s StarTAC flip mobile device was one of the most successful models ever designed and sales of around 60 million will attest to that fact even today. Even so, these diminutive cellphones did not come cheap. At a premium of more than $1,000, it beggars belief that so many of us could afford such a luxury.

Another mobile phone giant, Nokia, introduced their 8110 model in 1996 and thanks to the smash hit move, The Matrix; it soon became a form favourite with technology junkies all over the planet.

Back to Motorola now, their RAZR V3 became the benchmark for others to aim for, but despite selling over 130 million units, their designated low price meant that the giant firm lost massively and probably never recovered their once firm foothold in the mobile phone market.

So it was Nokia who remained the top dog and their N95 is rightly considered to be the last of the great non-touchscreen devices. It had Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and an impressive 5MP camera.

The first Apple iPhone arrived in 2007 was as revolutionary as the hype inferred and the inclusion of a touchscreen really turned the whole mobile phone market on its digital head. Who cared if it didn’t have 3G or MMS wasn’t part of the package? iPhones were here to stay and today have captured a sizable chunk of this ever lucrative market on a Global scale.

Since them there have been a number of developments and manufacturers that deserve a notable mention:

• Blackberry – This rather iconic mobile phone was all the rage in the early noughties but touchscreen technology eventually put paid to that. Their comeback phone, the Z10, was the first Blackberry with touchscreen features.

• Samsung Galaxy – Probably the biggest rival to the iPhone and with their larger screens plus plenty of Apps, the Galaxy is a firm favourite today.

• HTC – Champions of the Android OS, HTC recovered well from their early patent battles with the much larger Apple corporation.

So it’s apparent that smartphones are going to be here for the duration but the big question now must be ‘how will mobile phones look and behave in 40 years from now?’
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