Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first public call made from a mobile phone. On April 3, 1973 in midtown Manhattan, Marty Cooper, a Motorola engineer, called his rival, Joel Engel, at Bell Labs.
“Joel, this is Marty,” Cooper said. “I’m calling you from a real handheld portable cellphone.”
It’s amazing to think of how far mobile technology has come in just 40 years. After all, it wasn’t until 1992 that the first commercial text message was sent, and games didn’t make it to mobile phones until Tetris, in 1994. It took another 10 years to develop the first Wi-Fi-enabled phone, and the pace has drastically picked up since then.
Cooper made the first mobile phone call on a Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, a device that was nine inches long, weighed 2.5 pounds, and took 10 hours to recharge a battery that could only handle 35 minutes of talk time. Compare that with the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is just over 5 inches long but only weighs about 0.3 pounds and can hold a charge for several hours while the user talks, texts, surfs the Web, plays games and listens to music.
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What does the future hold for cellphones? According to an infographic put together by Cisco to celebrate the anniversary of cellphones, there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices around the world by 2017. It also predicts mobile video alone will account for 66 percent of all mobile data traffic.