Living, Tech

The cellphone is 40 years old today

Motorola 2900 Bag Phone with color LCD display...
Motorola 2900 Bag Phone with color LCD display, in Attaché Carry Case. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow!  Who would’ve thought that the cell phone is 40 years old?  Oh well, 40 is the new 20, right?

I bought my first cell phone about 1987.  It was the huge bag phone.  It stayed under the seat in my car because all I had to power it was a plug for my cigarette lighter.  I had the option for somewhere around $80, buying a huge battery that weighed a ton for it so that it would be “portable.”  $80 was a tremendous amount of money back then that I did not have.  I believe I got the phone free for signing a two-year contract with Cellular One which later became Verizon Wireless.  We are still with Verizon Wireless and I still have that same phone number today.  I’ve kept it longer than any home phone number we ever had.

After having the bag phone, it was so cool to go to a phone with a battery that fit in my purse.  It was still huge and weighed a lot, but it was a big upgrade from the bag phone.  I didn’t carry it with me always, just when I thought I might need it.  Still, I tried not to use either one because I was paying something like 25 cents a minute to use the phone and $1 a minute for roaming.  The really cool feature about these phones was that you could program up to ten phone numbers into them for “speed dialing.”

Slowly the phones became  smaller and lighter.  Cell phone plans became cheaper and cheaper too.  Then texting came along, and phones came with keyboards.  Now, many people carry “smart phones” that are nothing more than a little computer in their pocket.

The cellphone is 40 years old today | The Verge.


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