The Timeline: MOBILE PHONES

Wikipedia defines mobile phone as “a portable telephone that can make and receive calls” but let’s be honest who needs to know about phones everyone knows about it, especially all those who are able to open wiki. 

The evolution: Early mobile(extreme right),first iphone(extreme left)

“Mobile Phone” is one of those searches when Wikipedia result is not in the top and that actually makes sense because you and I are not looking for “What is mobile phone” when we Google it and Google search know it.

Rumored image of Galaxy X, a foldable smartphone, which Samsung confirmed will be happening in 2019

Now, you will be thinking that at first, he says there is no need for an article on mobile phones then why the hell this guy is writing about the same? Well, this article is about how these modern marvels came to be.

The First car to car radio transmission

“Aren’t we talking about mobile phones” some of you may think and the short answer is “Yes, we are!” but the mobile phones need Electromagnetic waves, Radio Waves to be more specific, to function.

Radio waves are Electromagnetic waves or EM waves for short which frequency lies between 30Hz(hertz) to 300GHz(gigahertz). Also, visit Wikipedia because they have pretty cool animation on Radio Waves.

Coming back to the topic, The very first attempts to make two-way transmission between cars was made in 1921’s and experimented by Police Department of Detroit. As first’s go, these didn’t work well nor was reliable enough to use for the police.

A motorola made Car Phone

The very first Car Phone was designed by Bell System was introduced on the June of 1946. “Heck, why they need to make a Car Phone” you would say, The first phones were a whopping 36kgs. If you were to compare that without a modern day smartphone, it’s more than 1000 times in mass. 

The Car Phones traveled through 1946’s to 2008 when it was eventually discontinued. Although the Car Phones evolved, it could never match the ease and usability of a smartphone.

The First Mobile Phones

The First commercially available mobile phone

In 1969, Nordic Mobile Telephone(NMT)  group was established, whose sole aim was to bring down the size of car phone and make something which was accessible in both in terms of money and weight.

Although the first cell phone was demonstrated by John F.Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973. It weighed 2kgs or 4.4lb, which was not very portable.

The first commercially available device was Motorola’s DynaTAC 8000X. And if you’d owned one of this thing you were a pretty rich person back then, as it was priced at a whopping 3k dollars or somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,10,000 INR, which when accommodated for inflation, it would have cost 10k dollars.

The Evolution of Mobile Networks

Ahhh! The mobile networks, the root of it all. The first mobile phones used The First Gen networks or 1G, obviously. The technology on which 1G was based on was Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), which for today’s standards was not at all Advanced.

As you expect of off a 1st gen service, this was also terrible. It doesn’t have International voice calling capability, used an analog signal; which, by the way, gets degraded pretty quickly and hence a poor quality and also led to poor battery life in the devices.

The second iteration of the network was what came to be known as Second Generation or 2G, simply which was an achievement in itself.

A modern cell station

2G was launched in 1991 in Finland and quickly became the norm. This was a Digital Network, what it meant was that in theory, it should be faster and more reliable than the previous 1G.

Having the capability of sending text messages and mobile data, which was practically useless for doing anything, made a quite a big upgrade from the 1G.

These were the times when none of us would have imagined that one day we would have computers in our pockets and could use the internet to do anything from buying stuff from Amazon to paying your bills with a click of a button on a pocket-sized device while not tethered to a dial-up connection.

The Third Generation or 3G followed soon after the 2G, tested and commercially launched in 1998, although the widespread acceptance would take a few years. There was network known as 2.5G between the 2G and 3G but for the sake of the length of this article, i would not include networks which were not a complete generation.

A potential 5g tower

Although the data was present in the 2G, none used it. 3G bought mobile data to the mainstream for which the data speeds varied from 0.2Mbps to several Mbps. 

We all know 4G or Fourth Generation of the mobile network, released and first commercially deployed in Norway and Sweden in 2009, soon has become the norm all around the world.

4G provides HD voice calls, IP telephony, gaming services and video conferencing natively. With Long Term Evolution or LTE for short, the data speeds have increased exponentially.

The Future 

5G or Fifth Generation is in the talks lately. It will mainly focus on IOT devices and self-driving cars. 5G will supposedly have exponential data speed increase, low latency, energy saving, and cost reduction. According to some, it will be completed by 2019 and commercial roll-outs would begin in 2020. And that’s pretty good news for you and me.

The First Smartphone

How many of you believes Apple was the first company behind smartphones?I bet most. The first smartphone was made by IBM in 1992, bummer? For me too.

IBM simon next to IPhone 4

IBM was one of the most prominent player in the 90’s. The first smartphone was Simon which integrated in a PDA  and a mobile phone.

It came with a 4.5 by 1.4 inch LCD touch display, and obviously a stylus. It had limited internet capability. One  send and recieve emails, faxes and included notepad, address book (which was a finder that looked up file folder, calender, world clock).

Although it was one of the most advanced phone at the time, IBM never sold more than half a million phone. The problem with this phone was that it was too advanced for normal people to use, only the tech nerds and corporate people could justify spending over $800 for a phone.

The Apple iPhone

You know it was coming when you clicked on this blog, didn’t you? Apple changed the mobile phone industry you need to admit it whether you love or hate Apple.

Steve Jobs unveiling the first iPhone

The first iPhone was released in 2007 by the man I admire, Steve Jobs. And it was unlike any phone at the time, a sleek device with a camera, web browser, calendar, and music.

The Apple under Steve Jobs was much different than the Apple we see today. Back then Jobs focused on functionality over courage (removing the headphone jack and selling a dongle to get it back). I will just move on to another topic as I can go on this topic.

The Future

We now have folding phones, bezel-less phones like Samsung’s flagships, notched phones like iPhone and almost every phone out there, in-display fingerprint sensor like in Vivo, professional quality photos and videos in every flagship out,  Payments through phones,  Super fast charging like OnePlus.

So now the question remains what’s next? What’s the feature you need in a phone? What is that one thing no one is talking about that’s useful to a phone user? Let’s Discuss below..….

I am an engineering student in NSUT, formerly NSIT. Currently living in New Delhi and hope to live here till my last breath. I am a technology nerd and a photographer. I also love reading books while cuddled in my blanket, although I don't get enough time to read.

8 Comments

  1. Kunwarpreet Singh
    23/10/2018
    Reply

    Very great explanation

    • Pushpinder Pal Singh
      24/10/2018
      Reply

      Thanks man

  2. Prateek
    24/10/2018
    Reply

    I think it’s these companies which have led us to believe that we need full screen phones and these extra screen space with notches. At least Samsung is not losing their way and providing those bezels until they future proof this new tech. If you want extra screen space, use laptops or tablets.

    • Pushpinder Pal Singh
      24/10/2018
      Reply

      True. And thanks for your lovely content ?

  3. Kulvinder kaur
    31/10/2018
    Reply

    Very nice article.. self explanatory.

    • Pushpinder Pal Singh
      31/10/2018
      Reply

      Thank you didi

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