Mobile Phone Turns 40
On April 3rd, 1973, the most important phone call in technology history was made. Using a prototype Motorola DynaTac, inventor Martin Cooper made the first call on a mobile phone.
Forty years later, it’s considered a brick compared with the diminutive devices we carry around. The historic call took place in New York City. Cooper’s inspiration? Captain Kirk’s famous flip-top communicator from the Star Trek TV series. The original DynaTac was 10 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds, a behemoth by today’s standards. For comparison, most modern smartphones weigh between four and six ounces.
Cellphones are everywhere in 2013. According to the U.N., the world has 6 billion cellphone subscribers, and more of them are moving into the realm of smartphones. Last fall, the tech research firm Strategic Analytics claims the global smartphone population topped 1 billion.
Today, Cooper helps run the tech incubator Dyna LLC. He also works as an adviser for companies and the government on telecommunications issues.