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40 Years Of The Mobile Phone. What Was Your First?  
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 30077 posts, RR: 59
Posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15027 times:

Mobile Phone: 40th Anniversary Of The First Call

The world is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the invention of the mobile phone.

On April 3, 1973, Motorola employee Martin Cooper made the first ever call on a mobile phone in New York to competitor AT&T, reportedly saying: "I'm ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end."


So its changed our lives and the things we can do on our devices have come along way since just being able to make a bad quality call. I remember my first phone. I was 18 and signed at contract with a company called Mercury One 2 One. Calls were 50p a minute and the phone was like a brick and heavy.

So what was your first mobile/cell phone?

62 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11588 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 14996 times:

I came to mobile phones very late. While using a huge Blaupunkt box around 1990 on business travel now and then, my first private mobile phone dates from 1998. it was a Nokia, and all my following ones were Nokia. I´m not very much interested in mobile phones. Even now I could think about living without it, and I dont use it every day. From the two big technical revolutions which became common possession during the 90s the internet is far more important and indispensable to me.

User currently offlinekiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2166 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 14961 times:

Nokia 5110, in 1998. I have been mobile for only 15 of the 40 years?? I feel so far off the pace. I have had 3 phone numbers in that time.

User currently offlinethunderboltdrgn From Sweden, joined Jan 2012, 1575 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14954 times:

My first was a Nokia 2010 after that I had a 3210, a Nokia N71 and now i'm using a HTC Desire.

Like a thunderbolt of lightning the Dragon roars across the sky. Il Drago Ruggente
User currently offlinejoffie From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14953 times:

My first phone was in 2005. I came to the scene late. I believe it was a nokia E6210 and I might just still have it here in one of my boxes.

User currently offlinetz757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2922 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14951 times:

My first phone, the Motorola v120. The only way I could remember the model was the fact that it looked like a giant peanut. Subsequent phones after that one, just weren't as solid at this one. I remember dropping it 3 stories and still worked like a charm after. Now I'm at the Droid Razr.

How time flies.

User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1826 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14954 times:

The year was 1997, I was 16 and excited as hell. Because me and 4 friends had convinced all our parents of the advantages of a mobile phone ("we can always call you if something bad happens!") and succesfully pitched a special by BCC (an electronics store) where you got a free phone with quite a cheap contract. So we went there, 5 friends and 10 parents, and we all got the same phone.

The phone was;

A Philips Diga (actually it was the Bosch clone).

When we came home I devored the manual, got totally giddy when sending my first 70 character max text and my mobile life begun. Aaahh, those were the days, the days where 2 character lines of extremely low-res LCD was completely awesome  

[Edited 2013-04-03 04:07:10]

Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineaerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14948 times:

An Eircell Motorola block in 2000. Yeah, shocking, considering texting was really lifting off with all my friends & it couldn´t even text!

Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlineCaptCufflinks From UK - England, joined Dec 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14887 times:

Mine was an MN1:

I remember that the aerial could be unscrewed and replaced with one that contained an LED that flashed when the phone rang!

I too got on the phone bang wagon early having convinced the parents that I'd be so much safer with one than without..

User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 3115 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14867 times:

Quoting kiwiinoz (Reply 2):
Nokia 5110, in 1998

Me too, but a year later. I was a bit reluctant to have a mobile phone at the beginning, but when I got one, it quickly became essential.

Edit: typo.

[Edited 2013-04-03 09:02:03]

"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 3136 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14851 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

My first was a Samsung. For the life of me I can't remember the model. It was the standard black and white screen. It had AIM on it, which as a 4th grader I thought was the coolest thing ever. My dad didn't agree when he got the bill after the first month   . Now I look at my iPhone and I'm just amazed I ever thought that was top of the line. Things have certainly changed in the last 10 years..

All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2512 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14846 times:

I think it was a Motorola C250 or similar, back in 2003. I was really late with getting a mobile phone, and my friends literally had to force me to get one. Until today I'm not a great mobile phone user (I often miss calls etc.) Mobile internet, on the other hand, always had my interest, and I got my first smartphone when the first serious iPhone competitor came out.

Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently onlinelarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14827 times:

I inherited one of my parents old phones so I could call home if anything happened on while delivering newspapers. I believe it was 2001 and I was 12 years.

It was a Ericsson A1018s


139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1842 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14819 times:

Mine was a Philips using the NMT900 system, none of that new fangled GSM stuff. The reception was horrible, but even so the sound quality was even worse and every second word was cut off. Made for interesting conversations, but to be honest I carried the phone only to look flash; it was for all intents and purposes useless. The year was 1989 and text messaging hadn't even been brought to market yet.

In 1993 I got my first GSM, an Ericsson 17something which came with two batteries and a docking station. Clever, you think, but actually it wasn't. The docking station was only there to charge the spare battery, it holding power for around 12 hours, but only if you were careful. Plugging a cable in the rear of the phone to charge it was still a few years off, and everything was limited to 180 characters.

Since then I must have owned more than 20 phones, must of them temperamental pieces of uselessness, with one or two notable exceptions. Been early on the mobile phone bandwagon, perhaps that's the reason my first smartphone is the iPhone 5 presently living in my pocket, and also why you'd be hard pressed to convince me there will ever be a better phone than the Nokia 2210 Injection.

From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3135 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 14790 times:

I'll put this way.

I was in retail with the Shack when the cellular market was in it's infancy with three type format of phones.Mobile,Trans-mobile and trans-portable.All were analog phones,as digital wasn't introduced until many years later.Trans-mobile was only operated from auto's cigarette lighter.Trans-portable was battery operated and both "Trans" products were more powerful then the mobile.All three weighted a ton!But of course the mobile product won out for its compact size.All retailed a low reasonable price from $1500-3000.At that time Motorola was the main provider of cellular phones with the CT-300 mobile.Pac-Tel was the main provider of cellular service in SoCal.

My first was with Sprint's service on Sanyo 8100 which I believe is one of the first camera phone made in the US.

Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8530 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14766 times:

NEC Talktime 800. It was for the whole family and was the only one we had until my sister got a Motorola StarTac in 2000 when she went off to college.


User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 12111 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14759 times:

I cannot remember the year, it was about 25 years ago. A Motorola bag phone, lousy spotty service then, short battery life. I worked a special deal with my Boss, he paid for the phone on the Qt. I had voice communications with him from remote unpowered new locations. We had pagers at the time, just a buzzer type. The deal worked well in case of the need to move on short notice, which happened frequently. I also remember the to do about the cost of the Governor's car phone per month way back. I believe it was about 200 dollars a month then for his state car. Rented equipment probably.

It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 14725 times:

Nokia 3310 in 2003 I believe. I was 11 years old  I had just started secondary school and my dad deemed it a need after I ended up getting the wrong bus home from school, ended up being over an hour late home and he couldn't get in contact with me.

Great phone and near bombproof.

User currently offlineTLG From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 14719 times:

My first was a Motorola bag phone in 1998 or '99, I don't remember for sure.

User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3773 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 14686 times:

Was it only 40 years ago? I watch a lot of Perry Mason reruns from the mid-1960's and you sometimes see Paul Drake talking on a mobile phone in his convertible.

Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlinemdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4151 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 14660 times:

The Qualcomm 2760 with Sprint was my first ever cell phone that I got in 2000 when I went to college. Such a difference from the Galaxy S3 I have now.

"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlinePellegrine From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined Mar 2007, 2745 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 14643 times:

Motorola StarTac in '98 or '99. Fabulous phone, all of my classmates were jealous.

oh boy!!!
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6436 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 14600 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

My newest phone with my first phone.... 20 plus years apart!


Quoting Airstud (Reply 19):
? I watch a lot of Perry Mason reruns from the mid-1960's and you sometimes see Paul Drake talking on a mobile phone in his convertible

Those were different, they used a radio like device of some sort. The servoce manual for my 72 Cadillac had a section about the removal and instalation of the mobile phone. The car is long gone, but I still have the manual. If I was at work I would scan it and put it in this thread. A friend of mine's dad had a phone like that in his 1978 Chevy Blazer. It looked like a big desk phone. I used it a couple of times and I thought I was a big wheel, talking on the phone, while riding in a truck!

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 14):
.All retailed a low reasonable price from $1500-3000

I remember going into Radio Shack stores and seeing that stuff and thinking how cool it was.

My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 14596 times:

My first mobile phone came as a Christmas gift in 2004.
We was late to the game.

Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 30077 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 14585 times:

I was just looking through old phone makes and here are some of the ones I have had over the years. I know quite alot but I used to change them 2-3 times a year.

IIRC this was my first one. It had a battery that pulled out of the back and then a charger it fitted into that was like a brick.


This was the offering from 3 Mobile UK when they introduce video calling. This was fun at the time being able to conference call between mobiles.




This was the Samsung H1 / Vodafone. It was a very poor attempt to get into the smartphone market coupled with disaster software insisted upon by Vodafone. There were so many issues with it that it became a joke even amongst staff.


This was one of the first in the range of MMS picture messaging phones.



This was my first phone when I moved to Ireland with a company called Eircell.


This was my second phone from Mercury One 2 One.

After the Samsung H1 I jumped to the iPhone 4 then 4S and now the iPhone 5 and I have to say Apple have been the best phones I have ever had.

25 Post contains images KiwiRob : Mine was an Alcatel One Touch Pocket.
26 DesertJets : I was a late adopter as well. My first phone was in 2003, a Motorola V60. My dad had a Motorola brick phone, the slim version back in around 94/95. Ev
27 Post contains images L0VE2FLY : Motorola in 2000, don't remember the model though. Ditto.
28 nickh : In the late 1980s/early 1990s, my colleagues and I had access to a couple of the original Motorola "Brick" phones with the nylon carrying case with st
29 MD-90 : When all else fails brute force gets the job done.[Edited 2013-04-04 19:01:38]
30 Post contains images KaiGywer : Ericsson GH198. Got it when prepaid cards first came out in Norway in 1998. Insanely expensive compared to today's prices
31 pwm2txlhopper : Don't remember exactly, but It was the end of 1998, and it was some kind of analogue phone. I think the brand name was NEC or something? I do remember
32 Pellegrine : I used SMS in the US in '98 or '99 when I had my Motorola StarTac. It was available, except it wasn't popular at all. I think I had AT&T Wireless
33 Post contains images CXB77L : Wow, the mobile phone is older than me! I was a late starter to the mobile phone too. I didn't get one until long after almost everyone I knew had one
34 falstaff : That seems to be a common theme on this thread and it surprises me. I would have assumed that more us were techie kind of folks and would have been e
35 Post contains images DLX737200 : The Nokia 5110 Got her in the summer of 2001 with Worldcomm Wireless, which later sold out to AT&T.
36 Post contains images bwest : The Sagem Coca Cola phone Somewhere in 99 or 2000. You had to collect points from coke cans and bottles, and fork out, if I remember correctly, an add
37 AA757MIA : Motorola Tele Tac 250 I think it was, I also had one Sagem like the one above, some time in 1999 lol
38 IFlyTWA : SonyEricsson T-616>iPhone>iPhone4>iPhone5
39 n229nw : Also came very late to the game. Got it in 2006! I think it was a samsung slider phone. And we got our first smartphones only yesterday...dragged kick
40 N801NW : Some sort of Tri-Mode Motorola flip phone from Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile back in 2001.
41 MD11Engineer : My first phone was a Philips Diga, same as the one in reply #6, in 1998. I only bought it because when I arrived in Ireland nobody would give me a con
42 Post contains images Fallap : A Nokia 5110 back in 2002
43 Post contains images flyingturtle : Now, I use a Nokia 1600. It's actually the second (and fourth) mobile phone I've ever owned. My first one was from Siemens - brown, with an oval displ
44 Ideekay : My first mobile phone was a Nokia 3410, it had everything you needed, not like today. Today I own a Nokia N8 and its enough for me.
45 Post contains links Klaus : Not really a phone, but serving a similar purpose: http://www.rigpix.com/icom/ic02e.htm (Early 1980s - can't be bothered to look up when exactly I'd p
46 connies4ever : Never owned one and in fact have never used one. But that will most likely change in the near term.
47 neutrino : Amazing! How on earth did you manage that? I am in the same age group as you and I had my first (a Nokia clone by Bosch with a credit card sized SIM
48 connies4ever : A) I don't feel an urgent need to be in instant communication with the rest of the planet; B) I don't want them bothering me continually. Now, since
49 travelavnut : Never owned I can almost understand, but never used one, that's.....that's impressive! You were never handed a mobile phone?!
50 connies4ever : Nope. To tell the truth, I don't actually know how to operate one. But I can assess nuclear reactors. From what I understand of the market -- which i
51 Post contains images Bongodog1964 : In 1993 I bought a business and the phone came with it. A three year old Motorola transportable. Wish I'd kept it as an heirloom. Not exactly sure of
52 softrally : My first phone was in 2007, when I was 10 IIRC. My parents wanted me to carry it around for safety. It was the Samsung V840, which was really cheap ev
53 allrite : Started with a Motorola Jazz (the phone, not the pager) around 1998/99. I was worried about mobile phones at first as I thought that future Mother-in-
54 AirPacific747 : A Nokia 3210. I still like the design of the phone.
55 Post contains images helyes : In 1995 I was a very lucky winner of a white (!) Nokia 2110, it was some "Finnish design" lottery. I was a student that time and didn't have any use f
56 Post contains links prebennorholm : That may be correct, but it was certainly not the first mobile phone call in the world. Early mobile phones were car based due to weight and size. On
57 steman : I entered the cell phone era relatively late, in 2000. My first set was a Philips Genie Sport, made of cheap yellow plastic. I had it for only a month
58 Post contains images Viscount724 : I'm also in the same age group. I resisted getting a mobile phone as long as possible but finally gave in 6 or 7 years ago. But I have no interest in
59 NZ107 : Nokia 5110, Nokia 6310, Nokia 6300, Nokia E63, Motorola Defy mini and now the iPhone 4S.
60 Post contains images CrimsonNL : I got the Ericsson GA628 when I was about 12. Back then text messages cost fl. 0.50 (guilden cents). Of course back then I couldn't afford more then 1
61 Post contains images Revelation : Ahh, the joys of: My former wife and MIL decided having such was essential for communication, bought them, and as I predicted they were next to usele
62 Doona : Nokia 5110 was my first, believe I got it at the age of 15 in 2000. I did however misplace it and pestered my mother for another and started using an
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