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From WWII to Your Backpocket: A Mobile Phone Timeline

  • SCR-194 and 195 Radio

    SCR-194 and 195 Radio
    Described as the first "walkie talkie" the SCR-194 and SCR-195 portable radios were developed by the U.S Army Signal Corps Enginerring Laboratories. Used during WWII, they were eventually declared obsolete in 1944.
  • SCR-300 Backpack Radio

    SCR-300 Backpack Radio
    Developed in 1940 by Motorola, the SCR-300 Backpack Radio with a 35 pound weight limit which allowed it to be carried by a soldier. They were also waterproof.
  • SCR-536

    Developed by Motorola the SCR-536 was the smallest radio transmitter used during WWII. This is where the term "walkie-talkie" comes from.
  • Marty Cooper makes the first mobile phone call

    Marty Cooper makes the first mobile phone call
    Using the prototype of a Motorola DynaTAC (later called the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x) Martin Cooper, an employee of Motorola, placed the first mobile phone call to his rivals at Bell Labs.
  • Nokia's Mobira Senator

    Nokia's Mobira Senator
    Weighing over 20 pounds the Mobira Senator was released in 1982 by Nokia.
  • Motorola's DynaTAC

    Motorola's DynaTAC
    Released an entire decade after the first call was made from the prototype, the DynaTAC cellular phone was released onto the market for the equivalent of $9000 in today's market. It weighed less than 2 pounds, a far more reasonable weight the the Mobira Senator before it.
  • Mobira Talkman

    Mobira Talkman
    The Mobira Talkman was released by Nokia in 1984. Whilst it was larger and heavier than Motorola's DynTAC, it offered hours and hours of talk time, as opposed to the DynTAC's 60 minutes.
  • Motorola's MicroTAC

    Motorola's MicroTAC
    In 1989 the world's first flip phone was developed. It is seen as the world's first pocket phone.
  • Motorola International 3200

    Motorola International 3200
    First handheld mobile phone that operated on the 2G network.
  • IBM Simon

    IBM Simon
    Considered the first smartphone of sorts, the IBM Simon was not only a mobile phone, but also a fax machine, pager, and PDA. It's features included a QWERTY keyboard, clock, calculator, notepad, email, address book, calender, games and a touchscreen.
  • Motorola's StarTAC

    Motorola's StarTAC
    Taking the flip phone feature and improving it, the StarTAC was able to fold completely in half, decreasing the size and making it even easier to fit in the pocket.
  • Nokia 9000 Communicator

    Nokia 9000 Communicator
    The Nokia 9000 Communicator kickstarted the smartphone era that was started by the IBM Simon. It was described as a mini computer, and featured a full QWERTY keyboard and an LCD screen.
  • Nokia 8810

    Nokia 8810
    The Nokia 8810 featured a keypad cover, and was the first mobile phone to operate without the use of an external antenna.
  • GeoSentric's Benefon Esc

    GeoSentric's Benefon Esc
    This phone was the first to include built in GPS. It was also splashproof.
  • Nokia 7110

    Nokia 7110
    The 7110 was the first mobile phone to use WAP, which allowed it's users simple web access. This was a huge step forward for mobile internet.
  • Nokia 3210

    Nokia 3210
    The first mobile phone marketed toward young people, the 3210 sold over 160 million units. It was the first with picture message capabilities, although only ones that came pre-intalled on the phone.
  • J-Phone

    The J-SH04, more commonly known as J-Phone was the first commercially available device with a camera.
  • Sanyo 5300

    Sanyo 5300
    The Sanyo 5300 was the first camera phone sold in the USA.
  • Danger Hiptop

    Danger Hiptop
    One of the first devices to incorporate instant messaging. This feature, and the large QWERTY keyboard made it a very popular choice among the deaf community. It was later renamed the T-Mobile Sidekick.
  • Blackberry 5810, HP Jornada 928, Palm's Treo 180

    Blackberry 5810, HP Jornada 928, Palm's Treo 180
    2002 saw an influx of PDA's adding mobile phone capability to their devices.
    The BlackBerry 5810 (pictured) was the first BlackBerry device with mobile phone capability. The device lacked a speaker or microphone.
    The Jornada 928 ran a mini-version of Windows XP.
    Palm's Treo 180 ran Palm OS.
  • The Motorola RAZR

    The Motorola RAZR
    The Motorola RAZR was marketed as a fashion phone and was hugely popular among young people. It sold 50 million units by 2006.
  • Motorola ROKR E1

    Motorola ROKR E1
    The first phone to feature Apple's iTunes music player.
  • Apple iPhone

    Apple iPhone
    The iPhone was the first smartphone to introduce a very user-friendly interface. The iPhone started the success of the device for Apple which has since developed several models of the iPhone, most recently the iPhone 5S.
  • HTC Dream

    HTC Dream
    The first smartphone to run Google's Android OS.
  • HTC EVO 4G

    HTC EVO 4G
    The first mobile phone to meet 4G standards.