Today marks the 40th anniversary of the very first cell phone call. Back in December, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)’s Steve Wildstrom interviewed Martin Cooper, the former Motorola executive who went down in history for making that call.
The call was made to the research manager at Bell Labs, a competitor that was also attempting to build the first cell phone.
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As the decades have past, we’ve seen mobile phones change a lot, from the so-called “Zack Morris phone,” which was a chunky handset used in the popular U.S. television series “Saved by the Bell” back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to today’s sleek iPhones.
Mobile phones have changed in size as well, shrinking down gradually over time before growing in size again; users are now looking for 5-inch handsets and even larger devices now referred to as phablets, a cross between a phone and a tablet.
Cell phones are also used more for Internet browsing and other computing power rather than making phone calls.
CNET looked at Motorola and all the things that have changed since Cooper’s days. The company is now owned by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), which makes Android devices. Instead of being a market leader, Motorola devices lag behind those made by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930).
We’re also looking at the advancement of other mobile computing devices as a replacement for mobile phones, like smart watches and even Google Glass, a computing device inside a pair of glasses.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) also put together a fun info-graphic tracing the history of mobile computing devices. Would you believe that the first commercial text message was sent back in 1992, and it was three simply letters we all know now: LOL. The first time anyone bought a Coke using their mobile phone was actually in 1997. Mobile data passed voice traffic for the first time in 2009.
It will be interesting to see what a similar graphic will look like in 40 more years. What major milestones will we see next in the world of mobile computing?