Happy 40th Birthday to the Mobile Phone

3rd April 2013

On the 3rd April 1973, a Motorola engineer called Martin Cooper made the first ever call from a “cellular” or “mobile” telephone.  Forty years on and mobile phone subscriptions are over 6 billion worldwide – meaning the mobile phone hasn’t exactly had a bad life up to the age when us humans say “life begins”.

Initially, Mr Cooper thought the high cost of the original devices would inhibit their transition from prototype technological innovations to mass-market global domination, with the first models being finally released in 1983 priced at around £2,300.  Not to mention they were all the size of your average brick.

The original handset used to make the call was the DynaTAC (Dyanamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage).  It weighed over 1kg and was around 10 inches long.

Cooper did recognise that eventually they would shrink and shrink and shrink into a more manageable size, although it could be argued that mobile phones have grown again over the past six or so years, given the desire to have larger “smartphones” with ever bigger touch screens.

Marty on the other hand – who is now 84 – believed that one day you would be able to “hang it on your ear or have it embedded under your skin”

Personally I think I’ll give that a miss…