SBP Blog

Remember Martin Cooper? - Part 1

Mar 23, 2013 by Adrian

Short history of the phone

Alexander Graham Bell created the first telephone in 1876 and although he wasn’t the first to experiment with such a concept, he was the first to obtain a patent for an "apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically", shortly, the telephone.

After almost a century, in 1973, Martin Cooper made the first mobile phone call recorded in history, and ironically, it was made to his competitor from Bell Labs, Joel Engel.

The phone went mobile like this…

"As I walked down the street while talking on the phone, sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call." - These are the words of Martin Cooper, the man who was the project manager of the team that created the first mobile phone in history. During the time he worked at Motorola, he was put in charge of assembling the team that should create a product that was never created before, a mobile phone that could be used by ordinary people.

The product was called DynaTAC (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) and it was, from today’s standards, a "brick", with a Weight of 1.1 KG and a Height of 25 cm, and unlike modern phones, it had only 3 functions: talk, listen and dial (so only basic software, no operating system, no apps, no nothing). It gets better, because you could only talk for 20-30 minutes until the battery was depleted and it took around 10 hours to recharge it (this was indeed a high maintenance mobile phone, but Martin Cooper assured the public that the 20-30 minutes talk time didn’t represent a problem, because you couldn’t hold it that long anyway :) ).

Who is Martin Cooper?

Martin Cooper and phonesThe Top management from Motorola invested $100M into the mobile phone concept, without getting any revenues for a long period (approximately 20 years), and they chose one of their employees to lead the team that should create it …

This employee was Martin Cooper (born on December 26, 1928), a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, the 1950 promotion. He enlisted as a submarine officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves and afterwards he joined Motorola in 1954 when he was just 26 years old, after working for Teledyne.

He didn't just assemble the first mobile phone, but he also led the 10-year process that brought the mobile phone to the market. In year 1983, the first commercial mobile phone, named Dyna-TAC, went on the market, costing a staggering $3.500.

Want to learn more about the competition with Bell Labs and what Martin Cooper is doing now? Stay tuned for Part 2.

Also, to read a great interview with Marty Cooper, just go here - enjoy! :)

Tags: Business  Hardware  phone 


web tasarım commented on 11/8/2014 8:05:22 AM

Want to learn more about the competition with Bell Labs and what Martin Cooper is doing now?

paraphrase service commented on 1/23/2015 5:38:21 PM

I always wondered where did the phone, so your post short history of phones I liked. Thank you for your story.

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