From the “brick” to the Blackberry, mobile phones have grown up with us and are now part of the family.
Remember the days of having to ask someone for 10p so that you could make a phone call? Or even knocking on a stranger’s door to see if you could use their phone? Well these days it’s taken for granted that not just everyone owns their own phone, but they carry it with them at all times.
This is a reasonably new phenomenon. Even as recently as 15 years ago it wasn’t the norm for everyone to own a mobile phone.
It’s not just the amount of people using mobiles that has changed; the technology on offer is almost unrecognisable from the early days of portable telephones.
So what did we have to put up with back in the early days of the mobile phone?
The world’s first mobile phone call was made on April 3, 1973, when Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, called a rival telecommunications company and informed them he was speaking via a mobile phone. However, it wasn’t until the mid 1980s that mobile phones became a more common sight on our streets.
Even then, phones weren’t really designed with the consumer in mind. Most phones were designed to suit business types who flew first class and drove big cars. In fact it was the car phone that was more widely used. Maybe due to the fact that handsets were so big and heavy; it was easier to carry them round on four wheels than in your pocket.
Even up until the early 1990s phones were still very primitive and were very much used for brief conversations and very basic voice communication. Only advances in technology and the development of the smaller, more compact PCP circuit board led to the conception of the mobile phone as we know it today – changing the way we used phones and interacted with each other.
It was Nokia’s development of the 6110 range which really put the cell phone on the map and set them on course for where they are today. Such was the popularity that the 5110 and 3310 soon followed, setting the bar higher and higher each time.
Thanks to revolutionary advances from the likes of Samsung and Blackberry, what we now know as the smart phone made even Nokia’s latest release look ancient and the mobile phone would never seem the same again – but it was apple’s involvement into the market in 2008 that would change things for ever.
Apple’s popularised applications and millions of consumers helped make touch screen interfaces the norm and revolutionised the way phones looked and were used.
With phones now incorporating top of the range cameras, MP3 players and social media facilities, we can only wonder what they will be capable of next. Watch this space.
This guest article was written by journalist and blogger Matthew Crist who writes for printed circuit board design specialists Concept CAD.