Cell phone celebrates 35th birthday

Thursday, April 3rd 2008, 11:15 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

On April 3, 1973, the first wireless phone call was made by Martin Cooper, the then general manager of Motorola. While standing on the streets of New York City, Cooper used the "brick"-like 30 ounce phone to call his rivals at AT&T Bell labs.

Cell phones have changed dramatically since 1973. Sales manager for US Cellular Jonathan Hanson has witnessed the cell phone evolve from large shoulder bag phones to pocket size models.

"The first cell phone was made available to the public for a whopping $3,500 ," Hanson said. "Cell phones were kind of a luxury. Now it's kind of turned into as common as your car keys."

DynaTAC was the first cell phone made by Motorolla.

"It weighed about a pound and a half and boasted about an hour of talk time on it," Hanson said. "Now we have cell phones that we can fit in the palm of our hand. They can do everything from checking your e-mail, to finding your appointment on a GPS service, to checking the weather and checking live radar."

Those in the cellular business say the biggest benefit from cell phones isn't tangible.

"Communication is a way to benefit people's lives," Hanson said. "Being able to stay in contact with loved ones or business clients or co-workers is pretty much standard these days."