Top 10 Fascinating Facts You Might Not Know About Mobile Phones

Top 10 Fascinating Facts You Might Not Know About Mobile Phones

For most of us, cell phones are a necessary part of our lives. We feel crippled once their battery runs out of charge. But most of us are un-aware of some facts about this favorite gadget of ours. For example who made the very first call? Who set limit to our texts?  And much more.


Here are some facts which we found interesting enough to share with our readers. Happy reading.

10. First Ever Smart Phone

Bellsouth Cellular is the pioneers of smart phone. They launched “Simon” in 1993 at Florida’s Wireless World Conference. The phone weighed slightly more than a pound. It was the very first phone with a touch screen LCD display.

Simon was designed by IBM, and as the company boasted, it had an outlook of mobile phones but offered much more than just making call. It was a versatile device of its time which could be used as pager, a scheduler, an electronic mail device (texting), a calendar, calculator, an address book and interestingly a pen based sketch pad too.

Unlike the pioneer cell phone, the pioneer smartphone offered it services in $899 only. Toll free forwarding is now possible with a digital phone system.

9. First ever Cell phone which hit the market

AT&T was in boom those days and Motorola was not so well known company in Chicago. Martin Cooper, an employee at Motorola, made the very first call of this world from a prototype of Motorola DynaTAC to his antagonist and counterpart in AT&T. The rivals, AT&T, considered them to be a flea on elephant, according to Cooper.

The phone he called from became the very first commercial, handheld, portable cellular phone available in the market after almost a decade. At the time of launch, i.e. 1984, it was sold for $3995 which equals $9000 of this era. The phone appeared in various TV series and movies as a symbol of technology advancements in ‘80s.

This call was done from the streets of New York, America. First mobile call in Britain took place a year after the phone got commercialized. The caller was a comedian, Ernie Wise, who called from London to Vodafone’s Newbury, Berkshire Offices.

8. Character Limit in Text messages

German Friedhelm Hillebrand is known to be the man who invented short text messaging services. The service was developed in the concluding days of twentieth century in a range of telecommunication systems.

The ides of a 12b byte text message struck Hillebands mind when he was working for GSM group. The limit has to be put for obvious reasons and thus he put a 160 characters limit which is still in practice (text can be longer than that but charged according to the limit).

He came up with this idea when typing notes for the ideal message length on his type writer. He counted the number of alphabets, special characters and numbers in each line and most of them were under 160. He also supported his advice with the claim that postcards and telex transmission had character fewer than 15o. GSM group agreed to this advice and made it a standard in 1986, after which all the mobile service carriers and mobile companies were ordered to follow it.

The tradition is now kept alive by micro-Blogging site “Twitter” who offers a tweet limit up to 140 characters with 20 character limit for the user name.

7. Pocket dialing, Phantom calls

I am now quite used to getting annoyed of the calls which I receive but the callers don’t intend to do, as my name start with “A” and I am probably the very first entry in most of the Address books. The phenomena is called pocket (or butt) calling, the keypad gets unlocked mistakenly and the very first entry in the address book is dialed for a call while the phone is in pocket.

Many company provided this emergency call service in their handsets that even if the keypad is locked a call is activated to 911 or other emergency services. In 2000’s 70% of the calls received by 911 in America were phantom calls. The number in U.K was as high as 1100 calls per day.

Most of the Phone manufacturers have now disabled this feature in their handsets, but pocket callings still remain in fashion. Though annoying sometimes, but these phantom calls have sometimes helped 911 and police to catch robbers and thieves.

6. Phone Towers in Disguise

If the number of phone towers in U.S is considered, one may think that every street will have phone tower but smart engineers have devised ways to turn these shabby looking towers into useful objects adding beauty to the scenes. These towers are disguised as signs, clock faces, drain pipes, telephone poles, church and cathedral roofs and even weather vanes.

If you come across a fake plastic tree standing along the roadside somewhere in U.S, be it known that it is phone tower in disguise. The trees are so fascinating that there is a a dedicated flicker group for them labeled “fake plastic trees’.

5. Most Expensive Mobile phone

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The most expensive mobile phone is Apple’s iPhone studded with 500 diamonds weighing 100 carats altogether. In addition to that a rose gold Apple logo with 53 diamonds and the home button embellished with 7.4 carat pink diamonds.

The phone was created by a British Jeweler Stuart Hughes and was names as iPhone 4 “Diamond Rose”. The vendors claimed a price as high as $8184968.42.

4. F.E.A.R

Living with mobile phones isn’t easy all the times. There are some hard to spell and strange words which depicts the condition of the mobile users can be effected from.

The fear to make calls or to answer them is called Telephonobia.

Nomophobia is the fear face when we either lose our phone, the battery runs out of charge or the device doesn’t catch signals.

RingXiet is the condition when you feel you mobile ringing when in real, it’s not.

Some of us even fear that using mobile phones is damaging our brain cells. This fear is called Frigensophobia.

3. Textonyms

It is really annoying when using t9 dictionary, a predictive text system, while typing a text and blindly forwarding it types something we didn’t intend to. This happens because of a single assigned to type for 3 or 4 alphabets. The textonyms are the text words which have the same key codes like “book” and “cool” have 2665.

The problem has now been tackled by qwerty keypads and more “smart” auto corrective softwares.

2. History of Voicemail

This one of the function of mobile phones that we take for granted was an exciting prospect of these devices for the ‘80’s generation. It was discovered by an MIT student named Scott Jones in 1986. Scott had to win bids to create voice mail facilities for different mobile phone service providers.

The following excerpt from an article explains the concept of voicemail

Company executive Gray, for instance, may need to convey a question to Smith, who is out of town, before the board meeting the next morning. Gray leaves a memo on Smith’s ‘voice mailbox.’ Smith calls in later that afternoon and realizes he cannot answer Gray’s question, so he appends a personal note to Gray’s memo and redirects it to company counsel Brown’s mailbox. Brown returns from his luncheon appointment, receives the message, and gets to work. By 10 p.m. he comes up with a solution, leaves his response in Gray’s voice mailbox, and goes home. The following morning, Gray dials his office number and listens to Brown’s message. No time or energy has been wasted.

1. The Best-Selling mobile phones

Talking of cell phones, how can we miss the most sold model. By the stats and figures we come across every day, one might expect one of the smartphones such as Android or iPhone to take the lead in this list. iPhone does stand in the top five slot with its 100 million iPhone sold till date, but still lags far behind the best seller.

Topping the list is none other than Nokia’s 1100 having sold 250 million units. It is a basic GSM candybar which was launched in 2003. Nokia 3210 and 3310 also are into the top five list with Motorola’s RAZR occupying the fifth slot.