« AEA Presentation about funding growth | Main | VisiCalc creator comments on speech recognition »

April 11, 2005

Cell phone evolution

I subscribe to an email newsletter from the CTIA (the wireless association) and they had this blurb about the early cell phones.

Motorola's Brick Phone Lead the Market
In 1984, Motorola lead the way with its Motorola DynaTAC 8000X "Brick Phone", which weighed 2 pounds, offered only one half hour of talktime and sold for $3,995. Developed by Rudy Krolopp, later dubbed the father of the wireless phone by Motorola's Chief Executive Officer, the phone was the first of its kind. The design took nearly 10 years and a total of $100 million in development costs before its official unveiling.
(Source: Associated Press)

I remember the first time I saw a person using a cell phone in public and it was also the first time I saw someone using a cell phone at a restaurant.  It was one of the brick phones so it looked like they were talking on a walkie-talkie from World War II.  I remember thinking "how important can it be that they take that call?"  When I got closer I realized it was Colorado's Governor Roy Romer.

Also in today's newsletter from the CTIA they talked about whether or not cell phones would become big competitors to the iPod.  They also quote Jim Wicks, Motorola's chief wireless phone designer who said that in the past 10 years, wireless devices have changed from communications tools to consumer electronics devices and in some cases to an object of self expression.

I suppose that's true, but I still just want to be able to get through my call without having to say, "Can you hear me now?" or "I can't hear you, I'll call you back."  My wife just wants me to remember to lock my keypad so that I'll quit making random speed-dial calls to her accidentally.

April 11, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Cell phone evolution:


Maybe you should take my advice and switched to Verizon :-)

Posted by: Jason Groshart | Apr 11, 2005 9:22:08 PM

I think I've tried all the big ones, and T-Mobile was the only one that could get service to my house. They also had high(er) speed data access at a time when no one else seemed to have a good solution. I'd switch though for even better reliability and faster data rates.

Isn't it strange that we go from a world where picking up a telephone that doesn't work is practically unheard of, to one where "Can you hear me now" is a joke that everyone gets.


Posted by: Terry Gold | Apr 12, 2005 9:56:11 AM

i got a new cell n im luvin it!

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 1, 2005 7:35:36 AM

Can You Hear Me Now???

Every time I see that Verizon ad I get all worked up. I have a Verizon phone (long story...), and it has not worked at the last 3 homes I've lived in. In the Boston metro area where I used to live, Verizon's coverage is like Swiss cheese - holes everywhere! One would think that in such a densely populated area V'zon would provide good coverage, but that is not the case. In fact, it is so bad that the Mayor of Boston drove around the city and mapped out all the places where his phone did not work and published it in the Boston Globe.

Sorry for ranting...but, if I were in the Mktg Dept at one of Verizon's competitors, I would produce an ad showing a V'zon user saying "Can you hear me now? Hello? Hello? Are you still there???".

Posted by: Mark Anderson | Sep 16, 2005 3:42:12 PM

Post a comment