Who invented the first smartphone

Time travel: this is how the mobile phone became a smartphone

Table of Contents

"A camera phone? I do not need that. A cell phone is there for making calls; possibly still to write SMS. The camera also takes totally bad pictures. ”That was roughly how a skeptic sounded in the late 1990s when he rebelled against the inevitable advancement of the cell phone. And now? The cell phone has become a pocket-sized computer. The smartphone camera has replaced the compact digital camera and WhatsApp has replaced the SMS.

The first cell phone

Motorola pioneered the DynaTac 8000X more than 30 years ago and launched the first cell phone. Telephoning, as it was known until then, was reinvented in 1983. Suddenly you were able to reach friends and relatives while you were out and about. However, having the DynaTac 8000X with you at all times was a challenge: the “cell phone” was not exactly handy with dimensions of 33 x 4.5 x 8.9 centimeters and a weight of 800 grams. In comparison: Current smartphones are on average 90 percent flatter and weigh an eighth of the weight.

Despite the comparatively high price of just under $ 4,000, Motorola sold over 300,000 devices within a year.

In 1992, almost ten years later, Germany also received its first cell phone. At 520 grams, the Motorola International 3200 was slightly lighter than the DynaTac 8000X and was one of the first cell phones to support the GSM standard. Initially, it was available from around 3,000 D-Marks, including a contract with D1 or D2. If you factor in inflation, that would be around 2,500 euros today.

The first clamshell phone

In 1989, the then innovator Motorola launched the MicroTac, the first clamshell phone. A GSM variant came to Germany in 1994. The market price at that time was $ 3,500; today over 6,000 euros.

The first slider phone

A good ten years after the world's first flip cell phone was presented, the German company Siemens launched the SL10, the first cell phone with a slider function, on the market in 1999. The device, measuring 129 x 50 x 26 millimeters, had a color display with a resolution of 97 x 54 pixels.

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The first cell phone with a color display

For a long time, cell phone displays were monochrome, which means that only two colors were displayed - mostly black and green. This technology is still used in many pocket calculators today, but not in cell phones. As early as 1997, Siemens introduced the S10, the first cell phone with a color display. Although it only displayed four different colors, many manufacturers were only able to catch up years later. Four years later, the Ericsson T68, the first mobile phone with a real color display that could display 256 colors, came onto the market.

The first camera phone

In 1999 it became clear that in the future a cell phone would not only be used for making calls and texting, but would also be used as a camera for a different purpose. The first cell phone that could take photos in a modest quality was called "Camesse", came from Toshiba and was only available in Japan.

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Only three years later, after manufacturers such as Ericsson or Motorola had shown cell phones with attachable cameras, did Germany also have its first cell phone with an integrated camera, the Nokia 7650. The phone combined a whole range of new technologies in a slider housing with a thickness of 114 x 56 x 26 millimeters. The display achieved a resolution of then a remarkable 176 x 208 pixels with 4,096 colors. The Sharp GX 30 was the first camera phone with a 1 megapixel camera.

The camera in cell phones evolved from a mild breeze to a tornado in the years that followed. Today, many smartphones even have four or five lenses with different focal lengths.

The first cell phone with an MP3 player

Two cell phone models are fighting for the place of the first cell phone with MP3 player: At the end of 2000, both the Samsung M100 and the Siemens SL45 made it possible to play music directly from the cell phone using headphones. The SL45 was the first mobile phone in the world to have an exchangeable 32 megabyte MMC memory card. That made it easier to transfer new songs from PC to cell phone. Samsung had built in the memory permanently. Incidentally, both cell phones had a special technical feature: the headphones also contained a microphone so that they could be used as a hands-free device.

The first cell phone with an integrated antenna

Again, it was Nokia that added a small but crucial addition to the mobile phone world: the Nokia 3210 came on the market in 1999 and was the first commercially successful mobile phone without an external antenna. The possibility of changing the appearance individually with interchangeable cover shells (called "Xpress-on" by Nokia) also made the 3210 one of the most popular models of its time. The front cover of the predecessor, the Nokia 5110, could already be exchanged, but the back cover of the 3210 was also exchangeable.

The first mobile phone with a browser

In order to be up to date while on the move, the Internet was brought to the cell phone in small steps. The Internet boom at the end of the 1990s sparked a race for the first WAP-compatible cell phone on the German market. The first cell phone with WAP access that went on sale in Germany was the Siemens S25. Unfortunately too early, it had the wrong WAP standard 1.0 on board, which was no longer supported. The first mobile phone with a WAP browser of the 1.1 standard was the Nokia 7110, which also impressed customers in other ways: It was the first mobile phone with an automatic slider that released the keyboard at the touch of a button.

The first cell phone with bluetooth

After manufacturers equipped some of their cell phones with infrared interfaces, it was Ericsson in 2001 who launched the T39, the first cell phone with Bluetooth. Back then, a high-end cell phone had features such as HSCSD, GPRS, an infrared interface, e-mail functionality and WAP.

The first smartphone

The invention of the first smartphone is officially awarded to IBM. In 1992 the "Simon" was presented at the Comdex computer fair in Las Vegas. It had a touch screen and many important organizer functions. A world first, but at the time it was hardly popular. At the time, potential customers found the smartphone to be too expensive and useless.

With the device you always had a phone, PDA and pager with you and you could even receive faxes, but Simon had dimensions of 200 x 64 x 38 millimeters and weighed 510 grams. In addition, the price of around 900 US dollars (around 1,400 euros today) put off buyers.

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At the same time, the Simon was also the first cell phone that could be operated via a touchscreen. In 2002, Ericsson succeeded in installing a color touchscreen in the P800 for the first time, before LG introduced the Prada, the first smartphone with a capacitive touchscreen, in 2007.

The term “smartphone” was not created by Ericsson until five years later (1997) when the Swedish company described its concept “GS88 Penelope” as a “smart phone”.

In 1996, Nokia launched the 9000 Communicator, the first smartphone designed for the masses. The Communicator series established itself as a genre of its own after a short time.

The first mobile phone with a GPS module

The Finnish manufacturer Benefon combined a cell phone with a GPS receiver to help you keep your bearings while on the move. The Benefon ESC! was introduced in 1999 and was particularly popular in the outdoor area. The device was 129 x 49 x 23 millimeters in size and weighed 150 grams. With a lithium-ion battery, a standby time of up to ten days can be achieved. The standard equipment includes a data and fax modem.

The first iPhone

In 2007 Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone. At the same time, it was Apple's start in the cell phone segment. Today the iPhone is the company's driving force. The series is one of the most popular in the world. The models of the iPhone 6 generation have been sold over 222 million times to date. This puts Apple first in the list of the best-selling touchscreen smartphones of all time.

The first smartphone with Android

One year later, in October 2008, the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1, came onto the market. It was the first smartphone that ran Google's Android operating system. It was operated using the capacitive touchscreen, five function keys, a trackball and a QWERTY keyboard below the display. Sliding open the touchscreen revealed the keyboard.