Long ago, in a land (not so) far away, there existed a civilization that knew not the wonders of wireless technology. This primitive society never experienced the joy of Angry Birds, nor the thrill of taking a selfie on a camera phone. How did this world, which knew only of landlines, dial-up Internet, and even, dare we say it, face-to-face communication, come to be the one we know today, equipped with smartphones?

Lets find out.

Without further ado, we give you: The Evolution of the Cell Phone.

The Dark Ages: The Landline Era



Before mobile communication, there were landlines. These ancient devices confined communicators to their homesa certain spot within the home, specifically! Communicators in the Landline Era were subject to all sorts of phone customs that might seem foreign in todays society.

Calls were limited to a few, appropriate, hours of the day (i.e., not at dinnertime, not early in the morning, not late at night). Families shared a telephone number, meaning that your beau would most likely have to talk to your father before he could speak with you! Imagine the following scenario:

With every call, you had to first identify yourself to the person who answered (AKA Mom or Dad). It was then customary for you to request permission to speak to whomever you were trying to reach. If said person was unavailable, or if Dad refused to let you talk to his daughter, you were expected to then leave a message.

After this grueling process, if you wanted to be sure not to miss the return call, you would have to wait at home near your landline. Imagine how many hours were spent waiting on calls that never came! The shame.

Society continued on in this manner for quite some time. Sure, there were car phones, but communicators were still confined to placesthe home, the car, the office. But everything changed in 1973, when Martin Cooper and Motorola created the first mobile phone prototype: the DynaTAC.

The Renaissance: The Birth of Mobile Communication

Mobile Phone


Rumor has it that when Cooper placed the first mobile phone call in 1973 from the streets of New York City, he called his rival at Bell Labs and asked him about the connection on his end. Talk about a zinger!

Yet while Cooper is credited with revolutionizing communication via telephone, it took quite some time to catch on. And even when it did, it wasnt exactly what we think of when we hear cell phone.

The DynaTAC was made available to the public 10 years later for approximately $4,000, which would be like dropping a whooping $9,000 for your mobile phone today. Needless to say, the cell phone was a toy for only the wealthiest society members. Weighing approximately two pounds, with only 30 minutes of talk time, the DynaTAC was a status symbolor for some, a piece of workout equipment. So while mobile communication was changing the lives of the rich and famous, the rest of us plebeians were still subjected to landlines.

Yet despite its limited audience, the mobile phone continued to evolve. Perhaps it was the complaints of muscle soreness that drove the development of collapsible phones, which were smaller and lighter. Motorola once again lead the way with the MicroTAC, the worlds first pocket phone.

Later, in the 90s, the company developed the first clamshell phone: the StarTAC. The phone was inspired by the Star Trek series, but came without the futuristic technology that such a show would inspire. Users still didnt know the joys of mobile Internet, text messaging, or selfies. Could you imagine?

The Revolution: Cell Phones Get Smart

Smart Phone


Society might have still been limited by what they could do with their phones, but this conundrum didnt last long. Phone companies were producing new models at lightening speed, and they werent just for celebrities and high society folk. Just when it seemed like a top-notch phone was released, another hit the market with a sleeker design, better functionality, and advanced features. It was a flat out race to what, exactly?

The smartphone.

The Nokia 9000 Communicator hit the market in 1997, and with its QWERTY keyboard and small amount of web access, it is credited as one of the first smartphones. But as you know, phones got a lot smarter! They came with more features, more games, and more Internet access. They had messaging options, a plethora of games, and even music libraries. Some people had Blackberries, some had Sidekicks, and others had other models there were too many to choose from!

Just when it seemed like it couldnt get any better -- just when it seemed like phones couldnt get any smarter -- Steve Jobs rocked our world with the iPhone. It was one of the first touchscreen smartphones, and has now evolved into an all-purpose device: a map, a communicator, an entertainment system, a lifeline!

And even though we learned then, on that fateful day in 2007, that phones could be far smarter than we knew, were still shocked and awed with each new smartphone. Our phones keep evolving, and will keep evolving. Will they become smarter than our own society? Only time will tell!

What do you think? Will your smartphone evolve into a genius device? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter! Give us a shout @puretalkusa.