Cell Phone Evolution

Life during the late 1800’s through the 1900’s was pretty much the same thing, when it came to communication. If you wanted to “get ahold” or communicate with someone that was not within walking distance you would follow these three simple steps: First you would walk over to the nearest landline phone. Depending on if no one else in the household was currently using it, would determine if you would be able to talk to who you wanted. Next you would pick up the phone and begin dialing.

This could be as easy as pushing the numbers or as difficult as putting your finger in a hold on a rotating piece of plastic, spinning it all the way around and then repeating that process 10 times. The road you took to dialing depended mainly on how old fashion your parents were or what decade you were currently living in. Finally after dialing you would hear a series of clicks followed by about 30 seconds of ringing until someone on the other end would answer.

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What I often wonder is how this semi-complicated process became so easy? And who was the genius that came up with the idea of having a portable communication device, allowing us to be able to contact each other at nearly any moment of any given day? When did all this happen? Before the 1970’s the idea of having a phone that you could carry around with you was considered in most minds crazy. Most people had never heard of such a thing let alone thought about it. This is true for just about everyone, except for Dr. Martin Cooper. Dr. Cooper, a general manager for the system divisions at Motorola, heard about the idea of creating a mobile device in 1947 through Bell Laboratories, which is now known as AT&T. From the day the idea was introduced it was a race to see who could indeed create the first cellular phone. This race finally ended in 1973 when Dr. Martin Cooper engineered the Motorola DynaTAC. The DynaTAC had three functions: talk, listen, and dial. It weighed about 2 and a half pounds and had a talk time of about 35 minutes.

What’s even more shocking is the fact that even though it could only talk for thirty-five minutes before dying, it took a breath-taking ten hours to recharge! Before the handset device, known as a cellphone, was created few people had what was called a “car phone”. Car phones were only for the wealthier citizens, and couldn’t be carried around unless you wanted to lug a 40lb briefcase sized unit around that contained the transponder. Car phones gave the engineers at AT&T as well as Motorola the idea to create a cellphone. The main goal for these engineers was to create a cheaper was of ommunication that just about everyone could use. In the early years of the cell phone, Motorola introduced pagers. Pagers became extremely popular very quickly. They were cheap and affordable for just about anybody. Pagers began to take the shine away from the cellular phones for a while because of their affordability and accessibility. However, it didn’t take long for handset companies to realize they had to make a change. Shortly after AT&T and Motorola developed a new set of cell phones that were cheap and affordable to most 2nd class citizens.

When people began to see the financial opportunities that cell phones could lead to, more and more companies began opening up. First it was Motorola, then AT&T and then Sprint and so on. Today there are more than a dozen still operating and competing for service. At the start it was all fun in games, the companies worked together to help others out and to ensure good service. This day and age, companies are now only trying to find flaws in other companies to advertise just why their service it that much better than the other competitors.

As we all know cell phones have evolved in many different ways over the past two decades. In the 1980’s it was forecasted to have a world market of 900,000 cell phones by the year 2000. By the year 2002, 900,000 cell phones were being sold every three days. All these sales allowed room to hire more engineers which then allowed more minds to ensure that new and improved phones would come out every few months. Like stated before, the first cell phone had only three functions, to this day the average cell phone has close to ten functions.

Whether it is television, mp3 player, GPS, internet, or 5mp camera, just about every phone is now entertainment itself. The most popular application on most phones would have to be the texting application. You no long have to talk to someone using your voice; a little finger strength and a conscious mind will now do the trick. It’s the first application where you can receive someone’s message and ignore them at the same exact time. When cell phones first introduced texting about 5,000 texts were sent each year. In 2007, 1. trillion texts were sent. Cell phones have obviously evolved over the years, being through applications or accessibility of the cell phone itself. So many changes throughout the years I often wonder when it will end. If it doesn’t where will cell phones be in 20 years? I often debate with myself whether all these upgrades are really necessary. Communicating with someone is so different now you can talk to someone for hours and never once see their face or hear their voice. Is this a good or a bad thing? You be the judge.

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