7 junio, 2024

Cell phone timeline: evolution since 1930

The cell phone timeline It goes beyond the 70s, the date on which his birth is located. Specifically, the origins date back to the late 1930s, with the invention of portable radios in the United States.

Today, cell phones are part of the daily life of most of the inhabitants of this planet and are a clear example of the dizzying speed of technological evolution.

If you ask a person how many times they have unlocked their cell phone today, they may not remember, but they may also admit that they did it many times. There is an average: 110 times a day.

Cell Phone Timeline: 1930s to Today

Portable radios


What many do not know is that the cell phone finds an ancestor in the first AM portable radios, the SCR-194 and 195. These models were produced for the USA, at the Army Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories.

Weighing approximately 25 pounds and having a range of 5 miles, these walkie-talkies were widely used during World War II.


Another development for military purposes, which can be counted as an antecedent of the cellular, was Motorola’s SCR-300 radio transceiver.

Although it weighed more (32 and 38 pounds) and had a shorter range (3 miles) than the SCR-194 and 195, it was also popular with the Allies during World War II.


In the same line of portable radios is the first «handie talkie», SCR-536, developed by Motorola, with a weight of 5 pounds and a range on land of 1 mile, while in the water its signal could reach 3 miles.


This was the year that he was introduced to the first commercial mobile telephone service: the Mobile Telephone System (MTS), developed by Bell System.

It weighed 80 pounds and worked with limited calling bands available from AT&T, costing as much as $30 a month with additional per-call charges.


Ten years after Bell System’s MTS comes Ericsson’s Mobile System A (MTA), the first partially automatic mobile system for automobiles that began commercialization in Sweden.

A year later, Du Mont engineer James A. Craig, in the United States, demonstrates the first radiotelephony equipment that allows telephone calls from vehicles to and from vehicles to be retransmitted completely unattended through the local phone companies.


Starting this year, owners of cars with built-in phones in the United States began to see lighter cell phones with push buttons, but with inaccessible prices and rationed service.

The rise of the cell phone


The mobile phone leaves the car thanks to DynaTAC (Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage), with which former Motorola vice president Martin Cooper made the first private phone call.

The device in question weighed 1.1 kg and its dimensions were 228.6 x 127 x 44.4 mm. The user could talk for 30 minutes and it took almost 10 hours for its battery to fully charge.

In terms of connectivity, these first devices belong to the «zero generation» (0G), precisely because they do not have that capacity.


Nokia appears on the cell phone market and the first international mobile service is launched, that is, the first generation (1G) of mobile communications.


Motorola’s DynaTAC 8000X cell phone is being marketed to the public. By this time it weighed less than 2 pounds and was running on AMPS, North America’s first 1G analog service.

This device, the first cell phone approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States, offered 30 minutes of conversation, 6 hours on standby and could store up to 30 telephone numbers.

However, it was still a technology accessible to few: it cost almost $4,000 (almost $9,000 today), in addition to the fact that its design was more geared towards businessmen.


The Mobira Talkman appears, increasing the time available for conversations that the DynaTAC had imposed.


Motorola pioneered again with its MicroTAC, the world’s first pocket phone thanks to its flip design, in which the hardware was located on a hinged section of the phone, reducing the size of the device when not in use.

GSM unveils 2G digital encryption technology three years later.


The Motorola International 3200 appears as the first digital mobile phone that used 2G technology.

Smart phones

It could be said that with the 90s began a race to improve the design of phones and to make them more portable, so that any consumer could access them.

And at the end of the decade the multi-use phones appeared, with games, calculator, clock, calendar, profile settings and colors on its screen.


The IBM Simon, a mobile phone, pager, fax and PDA, which also included a calendar, address book, clock, calculator, notepad, email, games and a touch screen with QWERTY keyboard, is launched on the market.

nineteen ninety six

Motorola shows the public its StarTAC, which opened and closed like a clam, halving the size of the phone. It worked on 1G networks and then went to 2G.

Also Nokia brought to the market the Nokia 2146 model, which revolutionized the technology compared to previous phones. It measured less than 15 cm and weighed less than 240 grams, which meant a symbol of modernity in the 90s.


With the Nokia 9000 comes the first mobile phone that also includes mini-computer functions, despite its limited access to the web. It had an LCD screen and a full QWERTY keyboard, a first for a mobile phone.

That same year, Nokia launched its 3110 model, the most compact mobile phone available.


Nokia is moving towards a more pleasant and ergonomic design. With its 8810 model it eliminated the external antenna or stub-antenna, and later launched other models with a sliding keyboard.


Nokia innovates again with its 3210 model, which allowed sending messages with pre-installed images, or the 7110, the first cell phone to incorporate Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), or what is the same: access to the web for mobile users.

At that time the Kyocera VP-201 also appeared, the first cell phone to have a built-in camera.

Telephones and cameras


Sharp makes its J-SH04 model available to the public, with a built-in camera that offered images with a resolution of 0.1 megapixels. It was exclusively designed for Japan.

With this device, what is now known as MMS began, thanks to the fact that it had an integrated CCD sensor and the Sha-Mail (Picture-Mail) infrastructure.


The first camera phone is marketed in North America: the Sanyo 5300 from Sprint.

RIM launches the first Blackberry on the market, although its most popular models were the 5810, for incorporating a cell phone into a data-only device, and the 2002, because it included wireless email, printing, and faxing.

This year the T-Mobile Sidekick is also known, a phone that allowed a web browsing experience and integrated instant messaging (AIM), with a QWERTY keyboard.

PDA fever begins, with Microsoft’s Pocket PC Phone Edition, which later gave way to the HP Jornada 928 Wireless Digital Assistant and Handspring’s Palm Treo 180.


A camera phone called Motorola RAZR V3 is marketed, which modified the design of mobile phones. It was very popular, even in 2007 it was still one of the preferred devices on the market.


Microsoft users celebrated the Treo 700w, a Palm OS that ran on Windows Mobile.

And the Motorola ROKR E1 comes with Apple’s iTunes music player built-in to manage up to 100 songs.

On the other hand, the Sony Ericsson W810i incorporated full-function internet connection, EDGE high-speed transfer, 2-megapixel camera with auto-focus, among other innovations.


The world knows the Apple iPhone, a smartphone with a touch screen and 3G technology. It is truly the beginning of smartphones as we know them today.


HTC Dream emerges as the first smartphone capable of running Google’s Android operating system. It included a QWERTY keyboard, a full HTML web browser, Gmail, and YouTube.

Nokia Corp. led the industry with 40 percent of mobile phone sales worldwide. With its Nokia 1100 model alone, it went on to sell 250 million phones, making it the best-selling gadget in history.


The first device to work with the 4G network arrives: the HTC EVO 4G from Sprint. It also had one of the largest touch screens, an 8MP camera, HD video capture, HDMI output, Mobile Hotspot capability, and HTC Sense.


The Korean company Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy S II, its operating system was based on Android 2.3, it had 1G of ram memory, it could record videos in 1080 pixels and it incorporated substantial improvements in the processor and the screen.

It was one of the first phones to offer Mobile High-Definition Link, which allowed 1080 pixel video output.


Apple launches iPhone 5, which revolutionized previous technology, although its design was similar to iPhone 4S: larger screen and 4G LTE technology for high-speed Internet connection.


Samsung released the Galaxy 4, a high-end mobile that runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, a 5″ full HD screen, 2GB of ram memory, a rear camera of up to 13MP and a 1.9 Ghz Quad Core processor.


Again, Samsung revolutionized the market with its Galaxy Note 5, which, among other things, included a fingerprint scanner and a stylus.


The Chinese manufacturer OnePlus released the OnePlus 3T model, which had 6GB of memory, a 16MP camera and a Quad Core SnapDragon processor.


Lenovo launched the Lenovo P2, an Android smartphone, whose battery yielded much more. It had 32GB of internal storage that could be expanded to 128GB with a microSD card. It has two nano SIM card slots.


The Chinese manufacturer Huawei impressed with the Huawei Mate Pro, with reversible wireless charging, the first in the world with this technology, as well as a three-lens rear camera and a 24MP front camera.

2019, 2020 and present

As of 2019, the large mobile phone manufacturing companies incorporated substantial improvements to the devices.

But in 2020 the fifth generation of mobile phone technology arrived, 5G, to gradually replace the current 4G, with which almost all current mobile phones still work.

It will support higher bandwidth, which will translate into higher download speeds, and it is expected that these networks will not only be used by mobile phones but also by computers, laptops or desktops.

The cell phones compatible with this new technology are the Apple models from the iPhone 12, the Galaxy S20, S21 and S22, the Mi 11…

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *