The mobile phone first appeared in the early 70’s, ten years before launching commercially and since then it’s changed radically in almost every form possible. One only has to watch a movie that’s a few years old to see the change in design and function of these portable communication devices. Once seen as a status symbol, reserved for only those either wealthy enough to own a telephone that didn’t require a cable or those who needed such a tool for saving lives such as a paramedic. The mobile phone remains a status symbol but in a very difficult way.
Early phones were clunky, heavy affairs with almost unknown but short battery life. The cost of making, and receiving calls was astronomical, but they served a purpose; to be reachable, anytime and anywhere. At least that was the idea! Infrastructure costs cash and lots of it. Although the hardware for the end user started to gain traction, the limited network caused major headaches with anyone living outside a major city. You had to dash to a phone box (yes, a phone box) and make a call.
The next generation of mobile phones were smaller, a little bit, and had a lot more features such as basic games and text messaging services. Although these weren’t thought of as text messages, more paging services. Paging services often preceded mobile phones, and people understood Pagers so the feature adopted this name for some time. Then the GSM network introduced a short message service, SMS, which showed some prowess. This SMS service allows users to message anyone with an SMS-enabled phone (which was almost all) and have a conversation with them via SMS. SMS became known as the text message that we all know and loved today, although SMS itself has been somewhat replaced by data messaging, most famously with Apple’s iMessage service and the mighty Whatsapp software.
Mobile phones have advanced in ways that would seem either science fiction or sheer ludicrous not too long ago. But with the ever increasing processing power, advancements in both mobile Internet connectivity and screen technology. The humble and seemingly simple mobile phone has now become a personal computer, a personal games console, a personal music player. And now, with contactless payment facilities rapidly on the increase, a payment method.
That old brick of a mobile phone, well, we had to start somewhere, where we’ll end up, who knows but it’s certainly exciting times!