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100 Years Of Innovation - The Mobile Phone

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MARTIN COOPER MOBILE PHONE
12 Days Of Innovation - The Mobile Phone | Getty Images

2.5 pounds, 9 inches long, 5 inches deep and 1.75 inches wide. Those are the specs for the first handheld mobile phone, developed by Marty Cooper for Motorola back in 1973.

Fast forward just 39 years, and your 140 gram Samsung smartphone can slip in your back pocket, trawl the entire internet and host free video calls anywhere in the world.

The mobile phone seems like such an everyday invention, but back in the late seventies and early eighties, it was distinctly elitist. The status of Wall Street bankers hinged on whether they could brag into one walking through Manhattan, as well as their growing bank balances.

Beyond the first world cities, in parts of Africa, cheap smartphones are now key to delivering health services, and have been adopted by traditional nomadic people to enhance, rather than hinder their way of life.

According to Orange, mobile phones are now the single most popular way that people in developing countries access the internet.

Cooper may never have thought it at the time, but the mobile phone is now the go-to digital camera, and now, wallet.

This year, the Nokia Pureview took the meld of mobile phones and digital cameras one step futher, with an incredible 41 megapixel camera – the highest resolution mobile phone camera we’ve ever seen.

Near Field Communication means that the phone is now a wallet, with either Barclaycard’s NFC sticker, or BlackBerry’s new MasterCard approved NFC models.

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