Cell Phone Invention Facts: Would You Buy One of the Above Today?
No, this is not one of those questions like “how would you live without a fridge” or “what would you do differently if you were born in the 1800’s.”
This question is 7 billion times more profound. Why? Because that’s the number of cell phones on Earth, give or take 10 or 20 million more per day. But what if the cell phone were invented today rather than 1973?
84-year-old Dr. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cell phone, would probably scream “Oh, my God, I have to re-invent it again? Or he probably wouldn’t even know what preceded cell phones. So with today’s technology, he might have creative something entirely different.
Think about it. No smartphones, probably no feature phones. Assuming Facebook launched today, 1.4 billion people around the globe couldn’t access the social networking site by phone.
Same with Twitter. You’d have to tweet on your computer–that’s if you had a computer. Upload your pics to Flickr? Good luck.
Cell Phone Sizes and Shapes
Then there’s the “form factor” issue. If the cell phone were invented today, would it look like the first one released in 1983?
Stick that in your pocket.
Cell Phone Technology Outcomes
So I see three possible outcomes if the cell phone were invented today:
- A mobile device like the iPhone would immediately come to market because silicon chips, computers, the Internet and other technologies were already perfected. This would make it inevitable that a creative person would invent one
- Personal communication devices resembling cell phones would gradually emerge based on available technologies and consumer needs and desires
- No cell phones would exist because technology moved in different directions
Taking Cell Phones for Granted
In the “western world,” we take technological advancements for granted. After all, Marconi, Silicon Valley geeks, and other bright people invented most electronic gadgets. In “developing nations“–countries and continents like Africa, India, South Asia and elsewhere–people’s expectations were different. Plus the telecommunication infrastructure, especially wireless, developed more slowly.
Now, 4G wireless is quickly spreading across the face of Africa and India. Why? Because wireless operators are not as hindered. In South Africa, Nigeria, and other fast-growing wireless countries, operators rapidly build wireless services instead of telephone poles with wires.