Lets travel down the memory lane and and check out what mobile phones were like then as i m sure many of you had little recollection of what it was. My 1st experience of a mobile phone was back in 1985 and I could recall it clearly being a Motorola. It was massive in size by current standard (almoast the size of a brick) but in 1985 it was a work of art and only the elite groups could have one. The price for a mobile phone then was about US$7,ooo and you can even have it insured just incase.
In 1985, you could buy a small flat or even a car with $7,000. In those days, many could only wished to have one. The call quality over the analog connection was poor as its almost close to walkie talkie quality and the call charges wasnt cheap too but the idea of mobility was just great.
It was a symbol of success for many to own one then. I m sure some of you must had seen back in the 80s, businessmen were carrying mobile phones with sizes ranging from bricks to briefcase everywhere they go. It was an amazing sight to see mobile phones the size of bricks spreading all over the meeting table and people yakking on top of their voice to make sure others could see them talking on the mobile. Even my dad had one in the 80s but he had opted for a mobile car phone as he didnt like the idea of carrying a 20 pound gorrila into his meeting. The phone was installed in his BMW and comes with a external speaker so that he could hear his phone ringing even if he is not in his car. Just to give you a picture of how loud the external speaker was, it was loud enough to draw every single person's attention within a 20 meter radius at least. (hahahah)
These days the design of mobile phones have to be small enough to fit into pockets or handbags. Not only that, it must also be small and pack with features like messaging, camera, audio and video players, organizers and god knows what will future design will come up with. But back then, it could only do voice call and the call quality in comparison to current standard is no where near crisp. Mobile technology had certainly advanced with credits going to Nokia, Motorola and Ericson who were the real pioneers who had made it a reality.
Hefty: Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (1982)
In 1973, Motorola showed off a prototype of the world's first portable cellular telephone. That phone, which measured more than a foot long, weighed almost 2 pounds, and cost $3995, ultimately became commercial available in 1983. Known as the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, its battery could provide 1 hour of talk time, and its memory could store 30 phone numbers. It may not have been pretty, but it did let you talk while on the go--if you could lift it, that is.Heftier: Nokia Mobira Senator (1982)
It may look more like a boombox than a portable phone, but this boxy, bulky device was actually Nokia's first mobile (if you can call it that) phone. Introduced in 1982, the Nokia Mobira Senator was designed for use in cars. After all, you wouldn't want to use this phone while walking: It weighed about 21 pounds.Ahead of Its Time: Motorola StarTAC (1996)
Before the Motorola StarTAC was introduced in 1996, cell phones were more about function than fashion. But this tiny, lightweight phone ushered in the concept that style was just as important, ultimately paving the way for today's sleek-looking phones like the Motorola Razr. This 3.1-ounce clamshell-style phone, which could easily be clipped to a belt, was the smallest and lightest of its time. In fact, it was smaller and lighter than many of today's teeny-tiny cell phones.
DotComs Ran on These: Nokia 6160 (1998) or Nokia 8260 (2000)
In the late 1990s, Nokia's candybar-style cell phones were all the rage. Sporting a monochrome display, an external antenna, and a boxy, 5.2-inch tall frame, the Nokia 6160 was the company's best-selling handset of the 1990s. The somewhat sleeker Nokia 8260, introduced in 2000, added a colorful case and lost some of the 6160's bulk: it stood only about 4 inches tall and weighed 3.4 ounces, compared with almost 6 ounces for the 6160.
Early Smart Phone: Kyocera QCP6035 (2000)
If you're one of the many fans of the Palm OS-based Treo phone, you might want to thank Kyocera. The company's QCP6035 smart phone, which hit the retail market in early 2001 and cost between $400 and $500 (depending on the carrier), was the first Palm-based phone to be widely available to users. It included a measly 8MB of memory, and sported a bland monochrome display, but it paved the way for future products.
PDA to Phone: Handspring Treo 180 (2001)
Back when Palm and Handspring were still rivals, Handspring made waves with the Treo 180. More PDA than phone, the Treo 180 came in two versions: one with a QWERTY keyboard for typing (pictured), and another (the Treo 180g) that used Graffiti text input instead. Like the Kyocera QCP6035, it featured a monochrome screen, but boasted 16MB of memory.CrackBerry Phone: BlackBerry 5810 (2002)
Before the BlackBerry 5810 came along in early 2002, Research In Motion's devices were best known for their data capabilities: Push e-mail technology, Organizer features, and thumb keyboards. The 5810--the first BlackBerry to offer voice capabilities--changed that perception. This device added a GSM cell phone to the package, albeit one that required the use of a headset (it lacked both a speaker and a microphone).Photo Opp: Sanyo SCP-5300 (2002)
Today, most cell phones come with a built-in camera. But, just a few years ago, a camera phone was hard to come by. In 2002, Sanyo and Sprint debuted the Sanyo SCP-5300 PCS phone, which they claimed was the first mobile phone available in America with a built-in camera. (A camera phone from Sharp had been available in Japan for a few years.) At its highest resolution, it captured VGA (640 by 480) images--a far cry from today's 5-megapixel camera phones like the Nokia N95.Bad Buzz: Nokia N-Gage (2003)
Nokia's N-Gage also created plenty of buzz when it was launched in 2003, but, unfortunately, most of the buzz was bad. This combination cell phone/gaming device was supposed to lure gamers away from their portable devices. Instead, it earned scorn for its odd curved design, and the fact that you had to hold the phone on its side to place a call. Later versions (like the N-Gage QD, launched in 2004) fixed many of the problems with the original device. But for many, the damage was done.
Sleek: Motorola Razr v3 (2004)
Cell phones continued to get thinner and more stylish over the years, but it was the debut of the Motorola Razr v3 in 2004 that took design to another level. With its super-slim lines and sleek metallic look, the Razr quickly became the must-have accessory. Three years later, it remains one of the most popular handsets on the market (according to market data from The NPD Group, various versions of the Razr were 3 of the 4 best-selling handsets in 2006), and is one of the few phones offered by almost every major wireless carrier.
Out of Tune: Motorola Rokr (2005)
It promised to bring together the best of two worlds: Apple's excellent iTunes music player and Motorola's cell phone design expertise. The Motorola Rokr, released in September 2005, was the first music phone to incorporate Apple's music software. It allowed users to transfer songs purchased from iTunes to the phone for listening on the go. Unfortunately, users found song transfers to be painfully slow, and many were stymied by the 100-song limit imposed on their music collections. Still, this handset paved the way for today's music phones, including those (like the Motorola Slvr and Razr V3i) that support iTunes.
Coming Soon: Apple iPhone (2007)
After months of speculation and rumors, Apple confirmed the news in January: The company does indeed plan to launch a cell phone. The device, which is expected to be available from AT&T/Cingular in June, will feature an innovative design: it lacks a numeric keypad. Instead, it will feature a touch-sensitive screen. The iPhone will also reportedly include a 2-megapixel camera, the ability to sync your iTunes collection to the phone, and it will run Mac OS X. Whew. We can't wait to get a look at one.