You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

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.

Continue reading below

1987 — US cellular subscribers surpass 1 million.

1990 — US cellular subscribers surpass 5 million.

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.


Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of