Martin Cooper’s legacy: The mobile phone at 40

Thank you Martin Cooper.

Thank you Martin Cooper. I don’t blame you for not knowing who Martin Cooper is or why I’m thanking him, but you’ll soon be thanking him too because 40 years ago he invented the first mobile phone.

This monumental invention has evolved in such an incredible way over the last 40 years that it seems as though society could no longer function without it. 
In honour of 40 years of making calls on the go, here are the biggest moments in mobile phone history. 
Motorola DynaTAC was the phone that began it all. This brick of a phone that can be seen in old movies didn’t even have a screen to begin with and weighed over a kilogram. With the battery fully charged you would be able to make one 60 minute phone call before having to charge it for about 10 hours.   
The Motorola 4500x was the original ‘carphone’ that could also be used as a mobile phone, if you were strong enough. It was the size of a small handbag so would definitely not fit in your pocket and could still only make calls.
From then on phones got smaller and more efficient, but the next big step that they are mostly known for today wasn’t added until 1993: text messaging. 
Nokia was the first manufacturer to create mobiles phones with keyboards that allowed people on the same phone networks to use SMS. 
Although innovative, text messaging didn’t become as popular so quickly until 2000 when texts could be sent to different networks and more phones adapted to become text-friendly. 
The Nokia 3310 was also released in 2000 and is on the list of most popular mobile phones of all time. It was the iPhone of it’s time. It was small, had a good battery and included the game snake. It was also one of the first phones that could be personalised by changing the front and back plates.
All of this was still done in black and white until the Ericsson T68 came out in 2001 in colour. This factor was also useful as it was one of the first phones that came with a separate camera that could be attached to the phone to take pictures. 
When the first BlackBerry came out in 2003 it was revolutionary and was the first step to the type of phones we have today. The biggest feature was emailing on the go, which was unheard of up to this point. 
Until the Razr V3 came out phones weren’t as concerned with their looks. The Razr was thin and futuristic looking compared to other phones of the time and made this a factor that all future phones would need to take into consideration. 
The Motorola Rokr E1 can sort of be seen as the first iPhone. Motorola teamed with Apple and the phone included iTunes with enough space for 100 songs. This phone didn’t have as much success though and the real first iPhone wasn’t invented until two years later. 
Finally, in 2007 Nokia created the N95 that was really one of the first proper smartphones. This included a camera, web browser, apps and a GPS and came out before the first iPhone, which is really nothing like the iPhone we know and love today. 
Despite the first iPhone being slow and not including many of the accessories it does now, it began Apple’s rise to the top and began a massive advancement for mobile phones. 
In 2011 the Samsung Galaxy came out and became one of the main competitors with the iPhone and continues its rise to the top to this day. 
It is amazing to see how mobile phones have developed and changed over just 40 years into something so powerful and useful.
Who knows how far they will evolve in another 40 years?
While writing this I’ve been listening to music and checking my Twitter, Facebook, email, the weather, and my texts, all on my phone.
What do you think is the role of the mobile phone today? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.