In The Beginning
Many of the early cell phones were considered to be â€œcar phones,â€ as they were too large and cumbersome to carry around in a pocket or purse. However, in 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x arrived on the market. Though huge by todayâ€™s standards, it was considered the first truly mobile phone because it was small enough to carry.
The phone, though incredibly expensive, became a pop culture symbol, showing up on everyone from Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street, to high school heartbreaker, Zack Morris, in Saved by the Bell.
â€œYou always have the trendsetters who are not afraid of trying new things and then everyone else follows,â€ says Patricia Grullon, an ...view middle of the document...
In recent years, the purpose of the cell phone has shifted from a verbal communication tool to a multimedia tool, often adopting the name â€œmobile deviceâ€ rather than being called a phone at all. We now use our cell phones more for surfing the web, checking email, snapping photos, and updating our social media status than actually placing calls.
â€œRapidly expanding software titles, better screen resolution, and constantly improved interface make cell phones easier to navigate, and more fun to use. Add to that an expanding capacity that can hold as much memory as a computer would just a few years ago, and you can see why itâ€™s an exploding market,â€ Grullon says.
The cell phones of today are also replacing our other gadgets, such as cameras and video cameras. When cameras were first introduced on phones, the images were low quality and the feature was considered to just be an extra.
â€œNow, we're seeing a very fast shift to where consumers don't even bother carrying their point-and-shoot cameras anymore, and just use their cell phones,â€ says Jamie Lendino, a tech journalist and senior mobile analyst for PCMag.com.
Modern day smartphones â€” the Apple iPhone in particular â€” changed everything that consumers expect from their phones. The app market has transformed the phone into a virtual toolbox with a solution for almost every need.
Itâ€™s not just the technology of the cell phone that has changed over time, the physical design has also gone through a rollercoaster of changes. Original car phones and bag phones were as large as modern day computers and just as heavy.
â€œLike computers, the cell phone over time has become drastically smaller,â€ Jones says. He recalls reviewing focus group results while working with Ericsson GE Mobile in the mid-90s. â€œCustomer research showed that the phone was so small that the user interface was unacceptable. Though the phone may have functioned...