The Evolution of Mobile Phones (YouTube)

Check out this YouTube video on the evolution of mobile phones. You’ll see the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 momentarily at time marker 2:04. Leave a comment on what you’d like in a future mobile phone (or whatever we end up calling it).

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This entry was contributed by Kelly Carter
84 entries have been written by this author.

3 comments on this post

Leigh in Jersey says:
May 21, 2008 - 03:05:24

Interesting to see how far we’ve come in just a little over a decade! The original analog StarTac was my first mobile phone and I think it got about 8 hours of battery life on *stand-by*–if I forgot to plug it in overnight, the battery would always be dead by morning. :P It also stored a maximum of 99 contacts with only one number per entry.

The LG VX6000 was my first color phone, and first with a camera. I liked it so much that I had it for over five years before finally finding something I felt was worth the upgrade–the Blackberry Pearl 8130! I finally understand what iPhone users are talking about when they say it’s a phone that really changes everything. With the Pearl, having my email, contacts, calendar, and tasks all in one place and synchronized wirelessly anywhere I am–it’s just fantastic. And with a decent enough camera for the usual “night out” photos with friends and a 2GB memory card replacing my iPod nano, that’s two more devices I don’t have to carry with me. Having near-broadband internet just about anywhere is pretty much a bonus, but soon enough I’m sure I won’t be able to live without it. Same goes for Google Maps and YouTube Mobile!

A childhood spent watching a lot more of The Jetsons than The Flintstones has always left me anxious for the amazing wonders that were in store for us in the future. And think about it… the iPhone (and to a lesser extent, the Pearl) have really brought us there in some ways. Can you imagine what you would have thought if somebody showed you the iPhone in 1998? A mobile phone with high-speed internet, high-res color screen, full web browser, gigabytes of storage with enough room for dozens of movies and thousands of songs, AND it fits in your pocket? Maybe that flying car that folds up into a briefcase isn’t so far off after all…

May 22, 2008 - 02:05:30

I do part-time teaching at a University, and I enjoy telling the college kids how I still remember picking up a phone, listening for the operator to say, “Number, please?” I still remember our home telephone numbers: 505-M, 505-J, and 1689. The local drugstore was 44. THEN, we got the futuristic ROTARY DIAL SYSTEM. I remember my first phone call made with the rotary dial. I was awed. Oh, I just remembered a time when it took an operator to help you make a long-distance call.

So, it seems so wierd to be looking at the history of mobile phones, as if that goes WAY back.

I also like to think of how mobile phones have largely obsoleted these terms and concepts:

* DIAL a number
* HANG UP the phone
* you left the phone OFF THE HOOK
* the phone RANG
* I called your HOUSE and nobody answered

And, referring to your StarTac, even the Star Trek communicator was purely voice. No display, no text messages or email, no video, etc. So, mobile phones have even outpaced science fiction.

My first job out of college involved designing and programming microcomputers (now just called computers). I remember asking, “Why would anyone ever write a program that required more than 64K (65,536) bytes of memory?” I could write code to control a sophisticated, motor-controlled, 6 degree-of-freedom robotic arm used in an aerospace wind tunnel to determine trajectories of air-launched weapons, and that took only 8K (8,192) bytes. Now, my PHONE has 64Mb of device memory and a media card with 2Gb of memory.

I remember when our family had only a black and white TV. Now my PHONE has a high-resolution color display.

I also remember cheap electronics that were proudly labeled, “Made in Japan.” We used to laugh about that.

I remember our family stereo that played 33, 45, and 78 rpm vinyl records. Now my phone can store and play hundreds or thousands of high-fidelity songs, and even music videos.

I imagine many of us feel like Fred Flintstone catapulted into the age of George Jetson.

Appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this subject.

Justin says:
Aug 27, 2009 - 04:08:16

Cool video i remember my first cell phone, it was in there. It was a nokia back in 96 i think. I still like nokia they make great phones. But not as good as my BB!

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