13 November, 2012

GSM Phones - 20 years old

El Reg has written a great article charting the history of GSM digital mobile phones.

On 9 November 1992, Nokia launched the world's first commercially available GSM digital mobile phone (with text messaging on a two line display!).

This awesome event was preceded by GSM technology being harmonised European mobile networks in 1991.

The Register's article takes us on a tour of European mobile phone technology. (Photo credits to The Register.) Below are some iconic phone of this period:
Motorola StarTAC from 1996

Motorola Timeport (1999), Nokia 3310 (2000), Ericsson T36 (2000) and Nokia 6310i (2002)

NEC e606 (2003), Motorola Razr (2004) and Nokia N95 (2006)

From the same article:
Nevertheless, according to recent research from YouGov carried out for Carphone Warehouse, a third of those over the age of 45 still use their first mobile phone, which highlights just how quickly the market has developed. And perhaps how well-built the handsets of yesteryear, like the Nokia 1011, were.
I concur: my parents still use a pair of Nokia 3310 - and although I have had to replace them (replacing them is cheaper than flashing the ROM which was in the problem on two occasions), I admire the usability of the interface and the user experience.


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