History of the cellphone

1977 — Experimental cellular systems launch in Chicago.

1984 — Motorola introduces “the world’s first commercial handheld cellular phone,” the DynaTAC 800X. Dubbed the brick, it has one hour of talk time, eight hours of standby, and weighs 28 ounces.

1987 — US cellular subscribers surpass 1 million.


1990 — US cellular subscribers surpass 5 million.

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1992 — The world’s first commercial text message is sent.

1993 — The first smartphone, IBM’s Simon, is released. It features a calendar, address book, calculator, e-mail, faxing services, and games.

1998 — The first “bucket” of minutes plan is offered.

2000 — US cellular subscribers surpass 100 million.


2002 — Camera phones introduced.

2007 — Apple unveils the iPhone.

2008 — Apple’s iTunes and the Android Market applications stores opened.

2010 — First 4G handset.

2011 — Number of US wireless subscriber connections (315.9 million) surpasses the country’s population (315.5 million).


2012 — Americans send and receive an average of 69,635 texts every second.

2013 — European Union votes to end international roaming charges throughout the continent.