Mobile phone texting turns 20 years old in 2012, and because the technology was developed first for GSM network mobile communications in the early 1980's, it's widely given credit to have been birthed by German engineer Friedham Hillebrand. Nokia, the worlds largest mobile phone manufacturer, posted on its Connect blog Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (short message service). Makkonen came up with the idea in a Copenhagen pizzeria in 1984, the blog entry states, though he never patented it and so, never received royalties from the idea.
That's certainly unfortunate for Makkonen, but as any mobile phone user knows, texting is more popular than ever. Young ladies in the U.S. aged 13 to 17 increased their texting over 250% during the year between July to September 2010 and the same time period in 2011, according to a December Neilsen report. Even as instant messaging is taking over as a popular SMS alternative, most people still do not have smartphones. There's no data plan needed to send a text, in other words.
The first text ever sent was at a 1992 Vodaphone Christmas party, urban legend holds, and in 2010, people world-wide sent nearly 6.1 trillion text messages. Modern texters now have the choice between using physical keyboards or virtual ones, with true speed demons still preferring the physical keyboards. More and more smartphone manufacturers are moving toward full lines of touchscreen devices, so who knows where texting will be in 20 more years. Motorola's Droid 4 is a new Verizon based 4G LTE smartphone with a keyboard slider. Samsung also makes the Captivate Glide that has a good quality physical keyboard. Of course, the BlackBerry may still be the favorite of texters because of the type and quality of their keyboards. Tell us in the comment if you could imagine a world without texting or if you think you are a super-fast texter.