A Project for Better Journalism chapter

The No Bones History of Cell Phones


Have you ever taken a moment to think of what you would be doing if you didn’t have access to a cell phone? Without them, how would we be able to quickly get a hold of people, check the weather by a click of a button, or even send a friend a funny post? Studies have shown that we check our phone an average of 80 times a day.

The first handheld cell phone came out in April of 1973; it was very rare if someone you knew had a mobile cell phone. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that they were widely available, and not until the mid-1990’s that they became a popular item to own. It was the best and newest form of technology during its time. Little did everyone know, it would only get more advanced from there. Before then, if you ever wanted to talk to a friend or family you needed to be home and ready to pick up the landline phone. If you weren’t there when it rang, then you wouldn’t even be able to tell if anyone tried to call in the first place.

After a few years, Motorola released the DynaTAC 800x at about $4,000 a phone. It took nearly 10 hours to fully charge and had around 30 minutes of talk time before the battery died.

As we began to head into the 90s, Motorola released yet another big hit, the Motorola StarTAC. This was the world’s first flip phone, which ushered in the era of reasonably sized phones. Then in 1998, the world was introduced to the concept of texting.


The Nokia 5110 was the first phone that had the ability to send a text message. Soon after the 2000’s began, Motorola released the Razr, which was known as the thinnest phone to had ever been made. To make things even better, it had a battery life of up to seven hours.

In 2007, one of the biggest game changers graced the mobile phone industry: the Apple iPhone. It was the first smartphone to ever be on the market.

From there on, we’ve had many more mobile cell phones come out. The new generation will never have to go through the struggle of scheduling times to talk to a friend or make plans and hope that they would be there when you showed up. Who knows, within a few years we might just have another big invention that will change the world as much as mobile cell phones did.