Important Moments In Mobile Phone History

378 000 IPhones are sold daily. 371 000 babies are born daily. The market for mobile phones has grown tremendously throughout the decades due to technological advances and the introduction of innovative offerings. Today, 80% of the world's population now owns a mobile phone. This timeline presents some of the most important moments in mobile phone history!

1973-04-03 00:00:00

First Mobile Phone Call

First Phone Call On Handheld Phone

1973-07-31 05:45:40

The 1st Mobile Phone

The first mobile phone was created by Martin Cooper in 1973. Motorola's DynaTAC 8000X wasn't commercially available until 1983, but its beginnings can be tracked back to 1973 when the company showed off a prototype of what would become the world's first mobile phone. The DynaTAC weighed almost a kilogram, provided one hour of battery life and stored 30 phone numbers in its phonebook. The Motorola DynaTAC is best known for bring used in the 1987 movie Wall Street, starring Michael Douglas as corporate raider Gordon Gecko. It initially costed $3500.

1979-03-14 02:05:10

Introduction To 1G

The first commercially automated cellular network (aka 1G) is launched in Japan by NTT. Initially covering the full metro-Tokyo area (20 millions users, 23 base stations) it had expanded to cover the entire population of Japan within five years becoming the first nation-wide 1G network. Using AMPS technology, NTT used FDMA to transfer between cells. Although its ability to cover an entire populace is impressive, it also gave the company the distinct advantages of a monopoly. Nordic Mobile Telephone was next to provide 1G service to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The United States caught up to speed around 1983.

1980-06-10 00:00:00

Growth In The Mobile Market

In the early 1980's the consultants McKinsey & Co were hired by AT&T to forecast the growth in the mobile market until the end of the millennium. They projected a world market of 900,000.

1982-04-10 00:00:00

The 1st Car Phone

In the early 1980's, the mobile phone was best known for its in-car use. Nokia's Mobira Senator, released in 1982, was the first of its kind. A car phone that weighed almost 10 kilograms, the Nokia Mobira Senator resembled a large radio rather than a conventional mobile phone.

1985-08-10 00:00:00

Introduction Of Shoulder Phones

1985 saw the emergence of shoulder phones which operated with more than 20kg worth of batteries… which is why they were used mostly in cars.

1990-01-01 19:33:46

Transition To 2G Digital Networks

By the late 1980s and early 1990s, carriers began transitioning to “2G” digital networks. These networks provided higher quality calls and were more secure. Variations of 2G networks with faster data speeds and clearer calls still exist today. 2G networks were also important because they allowed you to send text messages and transmit data.

1990-02-03 00:00:00

2G Technology

2G Technology Is Introduced

1991-07-01 00:00:00

The 1st Call Placed On A Commercial GSM

The first call ever placed on a commercial GSM (Global Standard for Mobile) phone was on 1 July 1991. Harri Holkeri, governor of the Bank of Finland, telephoned the mayor of Helsinki to talk about the price of Baltic herring.

1992-07-06 02:45:20

1st GSM Phone

Nokia's 101 was the world's first commercially available GSM mobile phone. Paving the way for future "candy-bar" designs, the 101 had a monochrome display, an extendable antenna and a phonebook that could store 99 phone numbers. It did however lack Nokia's famous "Nokia tune" ringtone — this wasn't introduced until the next model in 1994.

1993-02-06 02:45:20

1st Touch Screen Phone

The IBM Simon Personal Communicator was one of the first attempts at a commercially viable smartphone. A joint venture between IBM and Bellsouth, the Simon was only sold into the US and was best known for having no physical keys. It used a touch screen and optional stylus to perform the majority of its functions, which included dialling phone numbers, sending faxes and writing memos. It was priced at $899 when it launched.

1994-03-14 02:05:10

Introduction To Bluetooth

Bluetooth technology is invented by Swedes Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen while working for Ericsson and given an official introduction in 1998, much to the joy of thousands of cab drivers. Providing a secure way to connect devices such as mobiles, faxes, laptops, PCs, etc, Bluetooth allowed users to exchange information wirelessly. Bluetooth led to advancements in wireless communication between a PC and its mouse/keyboard, wireless video game controllers, wireless bar code scanners, traffic control devices and advances in medical equipment. It also made it increasingly difficult to tell who was on the phone, and who was simply talking to themselves. Current usage is down, but will likely grow as several states enact hands-free driving laws.

1994-09-01 00:00:00

The Beginning Of SMS

SMS - the Short Message Service - was launched in 1994 enabling short text messages to be exchanged between mobiles.

1996-11-22 00:42:21

1st Flip Phone

Motorola were once well known for game changing designs in the mobile world and the StarTAC was one of the first examples. The world's first flip phone, the StarTAC was one of the first fashion phones, combining a lightweight and compact frame with its basic phone features. Despite launching over a decade ago, the StarTAC is smaller and lighter than many current mobile phones and smartphones.

1996-12-22 00:42:21

1st Smartphone

Nokia's 9000 Communicator may have weighed a hefty 397g, had just 8MB of memory and a monochrome display, but this beast was the first smartphone. A far cry from today's units, the 9000 Communicator looked like a regular mobile phone from the front, until it flipped open to reveal a second screen and a QWERTY keyboard.

1998-12-01 00:00:00

Popularity Of Mobile Phones Rises

In 1998 more mobile phones were sold world-wide than cars and PCs combined.

1999-04-01 00:00:00

Email and Web Browsing On Mobile Phones

April 1999 saw the emergence of the first mobiles able to send email and use the web.

2000-01-24 23:02:10

World's 1st Camera Phone

Although it was never released in Australia, Sharp's J-SH04 was the world's first camera phone and was launched in Japan in 2000. Available on the J-Phone network in Japan, this long device featured an integrated 110,000-pixel CMOS image sensor and a 256-color display.

2002-01-24 23:02:10

1st BlackBerry Mobile Phone

RIM's first BlackBerry mobile phone was the 5810 — previously RIM had produced data based organizers that handled email and organizer features, but lacked phone capabilities. The 5810 simply added a mobile phone to RIM's existing feature set, though it lacked a speaker and a microphone and therefore needed the use of a headset to operate.

2002-05-23 14:10:33

1st Camera Phone Released In Australia

Camera for a cellphone, which was able to capture still photographs, was commercially available in 2002. Nokia 7650 was the first mobile phone featuring a built-in camera. The device offered a 2.1-inch color display at 176 X 208 pixel resolution and a 0.3 megapixel camera.

2004-03-14 02:05:10

Motorola releases the Razr.

With its super slim design, slick lines, and customizable color schemes this hot lil' number eventually moved more than 110 million units as well as spawning a million variants: V3 black for the Academy Awards, the Miami Ink edition, the Dolce & Gabbana Special Edition and of course the Product Red edition sponsored by Oprah and Bono. The Razr was the phone to have with a VGA camera, 2.2 inch 176 X 220 pixel internal screen, Bluetooth and 10mb of internal memory. It was often referred to as the "iPod of mobile phones" for the way it took over the mobile landscape, even appearing in an episode of Lost.

2007-01-24 23:02:10

1st Apple IPhone

Originally launching in the US in 2007, Apple's now iconic first iPhone never made it to Australia — at least officially. The original iPhone was a 2G device that had a similar frame and dimensions to newer models, but lacked basic features such as MMS messaging and video recording. In 2008, almost a year after the original hit the market in the US, the iPhone 3G was released in Australian and other markets around the world, while the current iPhone 3GS arrived this year. The iPhone enjoys immense popularity due to its user friendly touch screen interface and the wide range of apps available for download on the App Store.

2008-01-24 23:02:10

1st 5 MegaPixel Optical Zoom Mobile Phone

The first mobile phone released in Australia to feature a five-megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom, the Samsung G800 was supposed to represent a huge step forward for the camera phone market. Unfortunately, it never took off — it's the only camera phone with optical zoom that's been released in Australia. Although the G800 was chunky, its zoom performance was excellent for a mobile phone and combined with a Xenon flash it took reasonable low-light photos.

2008-03-14 02:05:10

The App Store Opens

As of April 2010 there were roughly 185,000 third party applications officially available in the App Store, with over 4 billion total downloads. Competitors were quickly forced to follow suit – Palm's App Catalog, Google's Android Market, BlackBerry App World and the Windows Marketplace for Mobile all scrambled to fill in the gaps for their customers. Even the Nintendo DSi and Sony's Playstation Portable now have related stores. With the BBC declaring that Apps "are to be as big as (the) internet", Apple's succeeded in recasting the handset – and extending the price-point past the point of purchase.

2009-01-24 23:02:10

1st Google Android Phone

It had been a long time coming, but the first Google Android-powered phone hit the Australian market in early 2009. Initially launching in the US as the T-Mobile G1, the HTC Dream was a re-branded device specifically for the Australian market. Launching on the Optus network, the Dream had a full-slide out QWERTY keyboard, a touch-screen interface, a trackball and a touch-based operating system that focused on user personalisation.

Important Moments In Mobile Phone History

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d Game mode

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at:

You can also follow us on twitter at

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at:


Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again