According to reliable cell phone history sources, the original was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper, formerly with Motorola, who branded the “first portable handset” the Dyna-Tac. Supposedly Cooper made the first cell phone and placed a call in April, 1973 to his rival at Bell Labs.
His Dyna-Tac only weighed 2.5 pounds and measured 9 x 5 x 1.75 inches. (Stick that in your pocket.) Ten years later, Motorola released the first cell phone to the public.
Check out Google, which shows over 4.5M listings for “cell phone design evolution.” While you could easily spend the rest of the year reviewing cell phone schematics and learning more about the innards of a cell phone, I’ll decrease the learning curve for you.
The evolution of the cell phone video:
Cell Phone History Design Changes Circa 2006-2007
As we approached the introduction of the iPhone and other smartphones, the form factor or shape of mobile devices didn’t change significantly, but the display size and color resolution, the physical keyboard and added functionality did. The definition of “mobile” itself changed.
Because the iPhone and similar devices performed more like a computer, the phone function, as well as user engagement, remarkably changed. Mobile phones, unlike the previous 20 years, were no longer “talking devices.” They became multi-functional mobile computers.
Cell phone history, since 2007, shows advanced design and manufacturing. In fact, Nokia’s Gian Cioletti in his podcast interview with me on MobileBeyond said that Nokia no longer sells smartphones. Nokia sells mobile computers.
So making phone calls is only one function of “mobile phones”
Why do mobile devices still look so much alike? Why are they rectangular? Why can’t cell phones look like they aren’t even cell phones? Why do you have to hold one in your hand?
A developing trend called “concept phones” has emerged from designers and and handset makers in the past couple of years. In many cases, concept phones don’t resemble mobile phones at all. Some look like coffee table decorations, others like necklaces. Shapes, sizes and functionality differ.
To whet you appetite, check out the Motorola KRE-8 Concept Phone for D.J.’s.
Time to throw away your midi keyboard?
Nokia wants you to buy multiple mobile devices. Need a new pair of stylish glasses…and a mobile?
Yanko Design would like you to sample its Nokia CLIPit concept mobile device. No SIM necessary, just your finger print.
All of the CLIPit’s data is “in the cloud,” accessible from CLIPit, other cell and land line phones and your car kit. Your fingerprint, different from all six billion humans on Earth, identifies you as the owner.
A steel touch screen at the top of the unit has light emitting diodes installed in the pad for dialing, sending and receiving text messages and navigating through your music library.
While you’re listening to your unlimited music library, hang CLIPit around your neck and insert the ear phones. Everyone will think you wearing a necklace made of turquoise and steel. When you’re on the go, clip CLIPit to your clothes, car dashboard, bike, friend, dog or wherever.
But where’s the screen?
Philips developed a technology called “Lumalive” letting you put CLIPit on a three inch piece of cloth. The lower layer in the cloth contains OLED’s which produce a color display in the upper layer. Want a larger screen? Say 12 inches? Attaching CLIPit to “smart fabric” touch-sense and LumaLive technology produces a 12-inch laptop display. When you’re through, fold the cloth, store it and away you go. Totally mobile.
Mohammad Zamani, one of CLIPit’s designers, is still positive about a 2010 release date. So you’ll probably not have a CLIPit from Santa under this year’s Christmas tree. But next year, when someone asks you what you want to Christmas, don’t say “post-it,” say “CLIPit.”
The continuing saga of cell phone history design continues.