Who invented cell phones and the evolution to smart phones
Are you like the 97 percent of Americans who have a cell phone or smartphone? If so, then it’s probably impossible for you to imagine life without it. But have you ever wondered who invented the cell phone? For that matter, when did smartphones come out? And what advancements made it possible for cell phones to turn into the sophisticated little computers you carry around in your pocket every day?
The cell phone has been around since 1973, but you couldn’t actually buy one until 1984. Cell phone technology advanced quickly after Motorola made the first one, but the next major development happened after the introduction of the internet. And that’s when the smartphone came along.
The first smartphone was available in 1994, and cell phones were never the same after. Modern smartphones have cameras, web browsers, access to millions of apps, and all sorts of other cool capabilities. Basically, every smartphone is a small, fully portable computer.
If you're in the market for a new phone or even just curious about the history of these devices, then this article will explain it all. It will answer questions like when were cell phones invented? when was the first smartphone made? and, for that matter, what is a smartphone?
When was the cell phone invented?
Who invented the cell phone? Martin Cooper developed the first cell phone. When was the first cell phone invented? It was released in 1973. You read that right: the first cell phone dates back to the 1970s!
Cooper was an executive at Motorola, he had been in charge of developing wireless devices like police radios and radio-controlled traffic lights. So what made Cooper go from making radios and traffic lights to building the first cell phone? A bit of professional rivalry.
Throughout the 1960s, one of Motorola’s competitors, Bell Labs, had been building the first cellular network. But they didn’t yet have a device that could take advantage of it. Not wanting Bell Labs to get the credit for the first cellular network and the first cell phone, Cooper got to work on the second piece of the puzzle: the phone itself.
In 1973, Motorola unveiled the world’s first cell phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x. And get this: the first call Cooper made was to his rivals at Bell Labs!
Even though the DynaTAC 8000x was ready in the early 70s, you couldn’t actually buy one of your very own until 1984—at a cost of nearly $4,000.
It didn’t take long for other manufacturers to come out with their own cell phones. The need to keep a competitive edge resulted in rapid advancements in cell phone technology. If you need proof, just look at the Motorola smartphones available now.
Coming up next: when were smartphones invented?
Who invented the smart phone?
After the DynaTAC 8000x, cell phone technology moved along quickly. But it was the internet that got the ball rolling and put the world on the road to smartphones.
What is a smartphone? A smartphone is an advanced mobile phone connected to the internet and functions like a computer. Most smartphones have common features like touchscreen displays and operating systems that can download and run apps.
So who invented smartphone technology? Smartphones are a marriage between cell phones and the internet, and IBM was the first company to combine the two technologies.
Who invented smart phones and when?
The world’s first smartphone was Simon from IBM. It didn’t have a web browser, but it did have email and fax capabilities, a touchscreen, a calendar, and an address book. And when did the first smartphone come out? It was available in 1994, just one year after the internet was made public.
Other manufacturers jumped on board right away and came out with their smartphones with unique features. Here’s a list of some key developments in smartphone technology that happened in the decade after Simon was released:
- Flip phones from Motorola
- The QWERTY keyboard
- Text messaging capabilities
- Web browsing
- Applications (some say the first app was the game Snake)
- Phones with cameras
Advancements in phones in the last few years
This article has answered questions like when were cell phones invented? and when were smartphones invented? But what about what's happened since those first few years when smartphones were still new?
Since the first cell phones and smartphones came out, these devices have gotten smaller, the battery life has improved, and the cost has come down significantly. Just look at this Motorola phone you can get through Lenovo.
This brings up a good point, though. While phones themselves have been getting smaller and lighter, the screens have been getting bigger. People use their phones more and more for videos and photos, and bigger screens are better for that. For example, look at the Motorola Edge with the Endless Edge display. They’ve maximized screen space without having to make the phone bigger.
But there's another option too. Motorola was the first company to come out with a flip phone, and they're still making them. And they're better than ever now. The Razr is still a flip phone, but you don’t have to sacrifice screen size. The flexible display can fold in half, so you get a small phone that easily fits in your pocket and still has all the advantages of a large screen.
Plus, the Razr’s new and improved battery lasts all day. The longer battery life is also thanks in part to cool Motorola features like Moto Display, which lets you see notifications without the phone waking up. And that’s not the only custom feature for Motorola phones. They also have Moto Voice, which gives you voice control over the phone. Then there's Moto Assist, which can let you automate certain tasks and make using the phone easier, including when you're driving.
Smartphones have also improved a lot in terms of capabilities and other tech. For example, the original cell phones and smartphones had physical QWERTY keyboards. Today, the majority have on-screen keyboards that appear when you're using an application that supports typing.
At the same time, lots of manufacturers are coming out with phones that have stylus pens for touching up photos and making other apps easier to use. Motorola’s Moto G Stylus is a great example, and it’s awesome for photo editing. The first smartphone with a camera came out in 2002, and since then, Motorola has had a reputation for making smartphones with quality cameras. Motorola phones are an affordable option for mobile photographers and anybody who loves taking pictures.
Motorola phones run on the Android operating system. That means you'll have all the Google apps built right into the phone. With one simple click, you can access YouTube, Maps, your Google Drive, Google Pay, Chrome, and so much more.
And that brings up another great point: browsers. The first smartphones couldn’t surf the web because nobody had built a browser for them. But today, there are more than 15 web browsers you can download on a Motorola phone.
As for apps, modern smartphones can support hundreds of them. There are millions out there right now. And thanks to the advanced capabilities of today’s smartphones, you can use your phone for online banking, finding a date, making and sharing videos, connecting on social media, reading the news, listening to music, sending money, conferencing with people around the world, and so much more.
Cell phone and smartphone FAQ Recap
When was the first cell phone invented?
The first cell phone was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x. It was invented in 1973 and was first available to the public in 1984. At the time, the price tag on the phone was a whopping $3,995.
Who invented smartphone technology?
The first company to make a cell phone with internet capabilities was IBM. But that only included email and fax—you couldn’t actually browse the web. That capability didn’t come along for another few years. But now, there are dozens of browsers you can choose from.
When did the first smartphone come out?
IMB’s Simon is considered the first smartphone. It was invented in 1992 and first became available to the public in 1994.
Get a Motorola smartphone today from Lenovo.com
If you’ve ever wondered when was the cell phone invented? or when did smartphones come out? then this article should have satisfied your curiosity. Mobile devices have come a long way since Motorola introduced the first one in 1973. But the real game-changer for phones was when IBM joined cell phone technology with the internet to make the first smartphone.
Today’s smartphones are small, powerful computers that do so much more than just making calls. Whether you use your smartphone to take photos, chat, text, bank, or anything else, Motorola phones are well-built, affordable, and have some excellent custom features that can make your life easier.
Lenovo has a full range of Motorola phones available, and you can get the latest devices with all the newest tech and features.