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back to article 20 years of GSM digital mobile phones

Twenty years ago today, on 9 November 1992, Nokia launched the world's first commercially available GSM digital mobile phone - the Nokia 1011 - strengthening consumer interest in the world of mobile connectivity. The candybar device - which weighed a whopping 475g and could sustain a conversation for no more than 90 minutes - …

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20 years?

Looked like only the first 15 years to me

Still, thanks for the trip down memory lane

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Rob
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Re: 20 years?

Agreed, the formative years/rise of the smartphone seems to have been glossed over. Could have easily written another 2 pages.

Where's the section about HTC providing telco branded smartphones, Windows Mobile was surely a big kick start to the smartphone revolution with the various handsets HTC were building. I had about 5 Windows smartphones before iPhones and Android hit the shelves.

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Re: 20 years?

Absolutely - this article is missing the Orange SPV (with its clip on camera!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 20 years?

Aye, no mention of the original XDA (another unbranded HTC) on O2 either. HTC really set the stage and allowed those of us who used them to laugh at those with Nokia Communicators >.<

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Re: 20 years?

But Apple made the smartphone.... and Nokia started it...honest..... HTC weren't even a blip on the radar.....even though they produced phones with lots more features years before the competition (when they worked right. SPV c500 replaced 4 times to get a useable one).

I still have my HTC Universal somewhere..... such a great phone, the only phone where I wish they would just update the internals (and software) and re-release it.

Looking at this list http://www.windowsfordevices.com/c/a/Windows-For-Devices-Articles/Guide-to-HTCs-Windows-Mobile-smartphones/

there are a few phones there I would love to see updated.....oh and maybe the tytn II for another :D

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Happy

In no particular order since 1994-1995

NOKIA, 2010, 8210, 8910, 6590, 6680, 6600, 6260, N95, N96.

PHILLIPS in 1995.

SEIMENS, S35.

SONY ERICSSON, C902.

ERICSSON,T28, GF768, GA628.

MOTOROLA, Startac 130

HTC, Hero, Desire, Sensation

IPhone 4S, 5.

Memory Lane

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 20 years?

I just read your post and thought "I've heard this before", but I couldn't think why. Then I remembered - it's reminiscent of the failure of the Amiga platform and the subsequent conversations that took place around that and particularly how Apple were felt by some to have reinvented history in their favour.

Is today's phone industry in a same place as the desktop computing market was in the late 90's? It feels like it might be, with companies that entered the business with a telecoms perspective now struggling to stay relevant against computer industry focused new entrants.

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Hello? Hello? Can you hear me??

And despite this progress, round here any mobile-phone (apart from an Inmarsat BGAN terminal) spends more than 50% of its time saying "No Service".

Phone functionality and features may mushroom; signal-coverage, it seems, never gets any better.

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Anonymous Coward

"while the oversized devices immortalised in Dom Joly's famous Trigger Happy sketch have all but died out"

No they haven't. Most phones are oversized nowadays. There was a time when having a small, well-built phone was a good thing. Now everyone apparently wants something that's too big to fit in your pocket, will get scratched by your keys if you try to, and will shatter if you drop it.

Oh, and the battery doesn't last an entire day.

Downvote away, fanbois.

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Meh

Well the small, well-built phones that fit in your pocket and have a battery life measured in weeks can now be had even in your local supermarket for about £20 nowadays. They've certainly gotten less popular than the newer pocket computers you can fit in your pocket (just) but they're still available, so I'm not entirely sure I understand your gripe.

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I loved my Nokia 7210 :)

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed

I still use a Nokia 6010. I'm an odd duck that uses a phone to (gasp) *make phone calls*.

The battery is getting a bit wimpy after all these years, so If I talk a lot, I may need to recharge once every 5 days. I can tolerate that, but wish I could still find new batteries for the phone.

It's been dropped in snow, onto carpeted, tile, wood, and concrete floors, and just keeps working. It's small enough to fit into a back pocket, it's got better reception than anything else I've tried.

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Anonymous Coward

Not going to downvote pretentious one....

There are still devices for those that just want a phone that makes calls, sends texts and lasts for days. You can pick them up for <£100 off-contract from any phone shop.

There are however some of us who don't really want that. There are some of us that want a device that's got an internet connection with the screen size and power to make proper use of it. Who want to listen to music in the car, watch films on planes and trains, play the odd silly game, browse the net away from home all in a device that fits in most pockets. We understand we need to be less than 24 hours away from a power socket. Some of us even own both and use them as appropriate.

Both markets are catered for. What's the problem? Why the snarky comment at the end of your post?

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"I loved my Nokia 7210 :)"

I love my Nokia 3315.

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I've still got a working (if you plug it into the charger , the battery died long ago) Motorola M400 from 94.

You couldn't even send SMS messages from it - no option in the menus and no letters on the keypad anyway. It could receive them however (go figure).

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Does there exist a smart phone with a decent battery life?

By decent I mean more than 24 hours of occasional use.

I've yet to see a smart phone which lasts longer than about 8 hours.

My (non-smart) Nokia lasts 3-4 days if used for calls, about a week if not.

That's not quite as good as the older monochrome Nokia I used to have, but it is good enough.

Until smart phones can last the length of a business trip without needing a recharge, they are not up to the job, IMO.

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My galaxy note ii lasted 9 hours of solid use in hospital the other day. With on the desk at work occasional messaging and browsing or a game at lunch it lasts all day comfortably, I usually hammer the last 30% playing fifa when the kids go to bed.

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Battery life

I genuinely get 2 days from my Galaxy S2 with the odd phone call, text and web browsing on the train. It's the first smart phone (apart from an old Blackberry, which wasn't really "smart" anyway) I've had that's managed this feat though..

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Actually, there is a simple way in which you can get most phones to last more than a day: kill off 3G. For email you don't need it that much, and making calls doesn't use it either.

I got 24h out of an iPhone that way..

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Motorola

Motorola RAZR MAXX, and more recently, Motorola RAZR MAXX HD

Enormous batteries.

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Nokia N8

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My S2 goes days between charging. Depends what you mean by occasional use. It's never turned off. I have a profile app and that turns stuff on and off throughout the day.

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Extended battery...

You can also get an extended battery pack for the S2 from Samsung (2000mAh) - comes with a new back matching the original but just a few mm thicker.. It still fits in the same case and tbh I think it's how the S2 should have come originally - forget trying to shave off a few mm and stick in a decent battery!

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Windows

Well, my N8 stays alive - even after 2 years with the same battery - for the better part of a week. When I got it, Saturday was "charging day". But, having said that, I've got few friends worth talking to...

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Go

Galaxy S3

My Galaxy S3 typically lasts about 2-3 days before needing a charge.

Granted I leave it in power saving mode, which restricts CPU speed/cores etc., but unless your into playing games on your phone (which I'm not, got a decent PC and an XBox for that) it's still smooth and fast to use with all apps etc.

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Joke

Re: Battery life

I don't know what you're all moaning about . I find with a ruck sack full of about 30 lithium-ion external battery packs , rated 7000mAH each, and a charging lead, I can get my Android phone to at least last the same amount of time as my Nokia 6310i used too :-D .

(okay maybe I'm exageratting , the 30 battery packs on my Android phone almost lasts as long as my Nokia 6310i )

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If I'm just using it for the occasional call and text I can charge my iPhone 5 on thursday night and be ok through to Sunday night.

You prob' wouldn't want to risk it though.

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T36!

Aw I miss the T36 - was a great little phone that was!

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RIM lost their cool?

Looking at that horrific first phone and how most BlackBerry phones still look just as ugly I have to ask when they were ever considered cool. The touchscreen few without keyboards may have been awful but they looked far better.

The Nokia 5110 (nk402 to me as an Orange customer at the time) was my first phone back in 1999. Clunky, huge, stubby aerial but it worked. I gave it to my mother after I upgraded and she has since gone on to become almost as big a mobile fanatic as I am.

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They never did it properly

If RIM would have gone all the way and opened up their protocols at least a bit, they would have had a chance. However the way they did it, you had to get a backend server from them which was expensive, or you had to rent capacity on one, which meant that all your e-mail was going unencrypted through another external party. If they just would have had a "portable screen-based"-terminal function with an open protocol they'd have a much greater market.

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Re: RIM lost their cool?

My Makita reciprocating saw isn't pretty either, but it's a goddamned tool and it does the job. I've never owned a Blackberry (because I dislike RIM's past aggressive litigation), but if I did I certainly wouldn't moan that it's not a Ming vase. They were designed to provide email on a small device, not be a fashion accessory.

Mind you, I recognize that fashion accessories can be tools as well, in some social contexts. But that shouldn't be the primary role of all phones, and it certainly shouldn't be the criterion for "cool" - which, when it means anything at all, probably refers to reception (of the social, not electromagnetic, sort).

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Devil

What ...

Nothing about the T-Mobile/Sharp sidekick and the great bendover and take it they gave to their customers by selling off danger to Micro$oft. Great phone for the time. To bad they killed it. I really liked the switchblade action.

I still use my Motorola flip phone. I like my phones like I like my women, dumb but well suited for the purpose for which they were designed....

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Anonymous Coward

Aah the joy...

I remember the fun and games that it took to get different ring tones on my 6110 (?) in the late nineties. It generally invoved connecting to an SMSC somewhere Scandinavian, sending specially formed text messages and saying a little prayer to the hacker gods and hey presto you were rewarded with Star Wars, Rondo a la Turk or similar. Kids these days have it easy.

And the joy of my first mobile without a sticky out aerial. You could sit down with it in your jeans pocket and not stab yourself.

And the real fun was writing midlets for my first smartphone. They didn't do much but it was the achievement of getting the phone to depress me with how much I still owed on my mortgage etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Aah the joy...

Did you ever make your own logos and animated screens? I would frequently make them for myself, or save them from those dodgy ringtone sites and convert.

The sticky out aerial was great for stirring Tea in a pinch. Looking for a teaspoon I always mourn it's passing.

3310 and 3330 had the best nokia code.....*#67705646# Which I would get people to enter on their own phones AFTER spending £3+ on a operator logo. :D

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It's still lacking something crutial...

...the sideburns.

Just look at at this photograph of a B-Netz (second generation analogue) base station.

http://www.oebl.de/B-Netz/Technik/SE62.JPG

Ohh and the early devices also solved the problem of number entry:

http://www.oebl.de/B-Netz/Geraete/TeKaDe/BSA21/BSA21b.jpg

Though later devices resorted to cheaper microcontroller-based solutions.

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Happy

Ahhh...

Nokia 6310i.... They never really improved on that one?

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Happy

Re: Ahhh...

I still have a working one and lots of other Nokias, Siemens and Ericssons.

And you can still by a "phone only", but if you demand a device with all the features of to day it has to have a "big" screen and there is a price for that. Take it or leave it, they are different.

I would have liked a picture of the first Nokia bricks, the about 2kg ones.

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Happy

Re: Ahhh...

Sorry I was actually thinking on the 9310i Nokia and sometimes I wonder why nobody is brave enough to use that form factor again.

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Re: Ahhh...

The E51 was a pretty good successor; same size, 3G connectivity, decent software, titchy screen though.

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Re: Ahhh...

Nope. Which is why I still use it!

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The pain

Is no one else suffering from bleeding eye balls having looked at all of those horrifically stretched images?

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Re: The pain

Thanks, I thought I was the only one..

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: The pain

Apologies, we had a few technical issues with images stretching. Should be sorted now, hope the bleeding stops soon. ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

My first was a NEC P3..

.. but I never got round to fitting a diagnostics chip (the main reason for it being VERY popular in the London hacker scene).

It was actually quite an evil device to nuke the street creed of the Motorola brick carriers. Once the show-offs had done their "HELLO? YEAH, I'M ON MY MOBILE SO EVERYONE CAN SEE I HAVE ONE" routine, I asked them to ring my number, and then pull the much more sophisticated P3 out of my jacket.

Yes, I did go through an offensive phase :).

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"... followed that summer for over half the price ..."? "Less than half the price", perhaps.

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Anonymous Coward

Fond memories

My first was the original Nokia Orange (2140) and other notable phones I've had include the Orange version of the 6110, the Motorola V3688 (first dual band - bought for my first business trip, to Sweden's frozen north) , Motorola L7089 (first tri-band - upgraded to for my first business trip states; Wichita of all places and also used as an IR modem to my Psion 5MX), Ericsson T68i (used with bluetooth module plugged into my Handspring Visor), Nokia 9210 (remember sending emails during my roller coaster taxi commute through Mumbai's suburbs on one of my more epic business trips).............

My longest lived phone? Easily the Ericsson T68i.

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Anonymous Coward

Original GSM handset was over 400g yet reviewers are moaning about the Nokia 920 being 185g when it does so much more.

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Windows

Memory lane, indeed!!

First (Analogue) phone was an OKI. It was £1/ minute - or part of a minute, if you went even one second over the minute, that was another squid. That'd be about £3 today.

Finally bought my first GSM (Nokia 2114 - 1800meg.) when my son was about to be born. (I was working at Nokia, Fleet at the time, and they didn't give their employees 'phones!). That was when Nokia Networks' workers - based in Stanhope Rd., or Admiralty Way, both in Camberley, were working 3 shifts. Still struggled to make enough basestations.

Roll onto now... I called my mate in UK from Finland yesterday, we talked for 10 minutes or so, and I know it'll cost me about the same as a small beer (€2-3).

Did piss me off today when I saw a graph of the N8's price. €450 when I got it, €200 now.

Should piss the shareholders of Nokia off, I thought, but then I realised I'm possibly one, in the form of a pension fund holder....

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Nev
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What, no Ericsson GH172?

These histories really do seem to miss out on some major kit.

No early ugly Ericssons

No Panasonic G series....?

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