Which country invented the cell phone first?

How long have cell phones been around? Development over time

In this article we will explain how long cell phones have been around. The development of mobile phones began in the last century and is still an exciting process that brings new innovations to the market year after year.

1983 - How long have cell phones been around?

The first cell phone was the Motorola Dynatac.

  • It was released in 1983 and was the first cell phone to be commercially available.
  • You could call it for a maximum of 30 minutes and it took 10 hours to charge.
  • At that time only business people or the rich could afford the cell phone. It cost a whopping $ 3995, making it a real status symbol.

1994 - SMS on mobile phones becomes commercial

More than ten years later, SMS was introduced in 1994. Two years later, Motorola built the Motorola StarTAC.

  • It was the first cell phone to have a flip mechanism and a vibrating alarm.
  • It also weighed less than 100 grams and was very slim.
  • The price of $ 1000 was now affordable for the upper class as well. As a result, more and more people were using cell phones and the network was being expanded steadily.

1996 - Multifunctional cell phones are launched

At the same time, Nokia released the Nokia Communicator in 1996.

  • Faxes and e-mails could be received and written with it.
  • Since you could work on the go, the cell phone was bought a lot and Nokia secured more shares in the cell phone sector.
  • The mobile network operators were now under double pressure, because customers now also needed nationwide Internet reception.

1999 - The first cell phone with a camera

In 1999, the Toshiba Camesse, the first cell phone with a camera, was introduced in Japan.

  • T9 was also released this year and significantly accelerated SMS traffic.
  • From 2002, more and more cell phones got integrated cameras and the devices became cheaper. As a result, more people were using cell phones and young people could also afford the devices at once.
  • A completely new market segment was opened up.

2007 - Apple's breakthrough

The new breakthrough came in 2007 with the iPhone. The software was also groundbreaking back then.

  • This is where Apple first defined the smartphone as we know it today.
  • All of a sudden, cell phones could edit photos, comfortably browse the web and function as a navigation system at the same time. And all of this with a cell phone that looked smart and fit comfortably in your pocket.
  • Gestures with two fingers or flowing scrolling were hardly used until the iPhone.

The history of Android smartphones

Almost a year after the first iPhone was released, a mobile smartphone operating system was released that was to become Apple's biggest competitor: Android. Originally Android was a company founded in 2003 by Andy Rubin. Android specialized in developing software for mobile phones and location-based services.

  • In the summer of 2005, Google bought the company. Together with 33 other members of the Open Handset Alliance, the group further developed Android into a mobile phone operating system. Android was launched as an open system on October 21, 2008.
  • The first Android smartphone was the HTC Dream, which was launched in the USA in October 2008 (then under the name T-Mobile G1).
  • Other models followed, including the Google Nexus phone, which the group released between 2010 and 2016. In the meantime, the Nexus series has been replaced by the Pixel devices.
  • Over the years, Android has established itself as the top dog in the highly competitive smartphone market and now has a market share of over 70 percent. Among other things, smartphones and tablets from Samsung, Xiaomi, Motorola, OnePlus or Huawei run with the Google operating system.

Smartphones of the present and future

So far in this article we have mainly looked into the past. But what about the current smartphone market? In this section we clarify which models are currently dominating the market and whether spectacular innovations can still be expected after all these years.

  • Apple and Samsung are currently dominating the smartphone market in Europe and North America with their extensive product lines. In Asia, however, the Chinese smartphone manufacturers Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei are more strongly represented. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple's iPhone had a global market share of 23.4 percent, Samsung achieved 19.1 percent, Xiaomi 11.2 percent, Oppo 8.8 percent and Huawei 8.4 percent.
  • In the meantime, cheap smartphones also offer good quality and a pretty design. The question is what innovations can be expected in 2021. The majority of innovation will be offered by so-called fold cell phones that can be easily folded up. Sure, clamshell phones were around as early as the 2000s. But no smartphones with huge displays that can be folded without hinges.
  • It is expected that Samsung will launch a corresponding model with the Galaxy Z Fold E this year. The foldable Huawei Mate X2 should also be one of the foldables.
  • Another innovation could be a fivefold camera, which, according to Vodafone, could be found on the Samsung Galaxy S21, among other things. Xiaomi also relies on an improved camera - although not with five cameras, but with a super camera including an extendable lens.
  • So you can still be curious to see what innovations the smartphone manufacturers will consider for the near future in order to meet the increasingly demanding customer expectations.

Video tip: Connect your mobile phone to your smartwatch

In the next practical tips, we will show you how long there have been e-mails.

(Original tip written by: Yannick Börner)