Evolution of handsets (Telephones, Mobiles, and smartphones)

First, when I picked the topic of the evolution of handsets (Telephones, Mobiles, and smartphones), I thought it would be easy to gather the information. But it's not!

Everyone says, "I can't live without my mobile", "My mobile is my heart" etc. but none really know everything about the smartphones.

So, here I'm, to let you know about the evolution of handsets which literally changed the world as you can see it.

Facts about handsets

  • Our mobile phone has more computing power than the computers used for the Apollo 11 moon landing.

  • Nomophobia; is the fear of being without your mobile phone or losing your signal. And Frigensophobia is the fear that using your mobile is damaging your brain.

  • More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets.

  • The technology behind smartphones relies on up to 250,000 separate patents.

  • It costs less than $1 a year to keep your smartphone charged up.

  • The first phonebook in history was just one page long.

  • SOS, the internationally recognized distress signal, does not stand for any particular words. Instead, the letters were chosen because they are easy to transmit in Morse code: "S" is three dots, and "O" is three dashes.

The earlier communications

To start with this topic, I want to mention the other long-distance communications we had in the past.

The first one of the list is the traditional pigeon post and then, came the Semaphore flag signaling system. It is an alphabet signaling system based on the waving of a pair of hand-held flags in a particular pattern.

In the meantime, we have our tin can telephone or the famously known Lover's phone, which is basically two tins connected via a string.

Then in 1792, we have the optical telegraph invented by Frenchman Claude Chappe.

He created a language of 9,999 words, each represented by a different position of the swinging arms. When operated by well-trained optical telegraphers, the system was extraordinarily quick. Messages could be transmitted up to 150 miles in two minutes.

Speaking tubes and electric telegraphs

Next, Speaking tubes entered the picture.

This device consists of two speaking cones connected by an empty pipe through which sound could travel to someone listening at the other end. These were found in trains, houses, and offices in the 19th century, and had been in use on ships in earlier times as well.

Around the same time or even earlier, the electrical telegraphs started to become popular and widespread.

In the 1830s, the British team of Cooke and Wheatstone developed a telegraph system with five magnetic needles that could be pointed around a panel of letters and numbers by using an electric current.

In 1844, Morse sent his first telegraph message using his Morse code, from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland; by 1866, a telegraph line had been laid across the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. to Europe.

Genesis of telephone

Like every kid who read from the textbooks that the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, even I lived my entire life believing that.

Before continuing, let's see the patent of A.G Bell.

As you can see, Bell’s patent for the telephone was modestly titled ‘Improvement in Telegraphy’.

Then who invented the telephone?

Is it the Elisha Gray who competed with Bell while acquiring the patent? The Elisha Gray who lost against Bell even though his device resembled Gray’s more than his own design; is not the original father of the telephone.

Then who is it?

Some claim that Johann Philipp Reis is the inventor of the first modern telephone; in 1860. But Reis never got recognition for his invention. And the scientists thought it was a toy and laughed at it.

Some claim the real telephone inventor as, Antonio Meucci. He filed a patent caveat (an intention to file a real patent) in 1971.

Others claim the real telephone inventor as Innocenzo Manzetti. Who also created a sort of modern robot in 1849 which was able to play the flute and also can imitate slight movements.

But why does everyone believe Graham Bell as the inventor of Telephone?

It's simple. Similar to Thomas Alva Edison, Bell also sighted to be an egoist. And as his company, the Bell Telephone Company co-founded by his father-in-law,

Hubbard, his empire expanded exponentially.

The Bell company has been a monopoly in the telephone industry for decades while acquiring all his rivals and also its suppliers. Soon, the Bell company which later split and then merged and emerged as American Telephone and Telegraph Company and many other companies, commonly known as Bell System, became the most powerful empire of the time.

After many lawsuits and hearings, the company got divided into seven parts which later individually were acquired by other companies.

The AT & T was popularly known as Ma Bell and was called as mother of Phones. And the seven divided companies were cumulatively called as baby bells. Ironically, "Ma Bell" was acquired by one of its "Baby Bells", SBC Communications, in 2005.

Mobile phone

Now, after the invention of the telephone, people started wanting portable telephones.

At the time, AT & T already began the car radio and was trying to create the mobile, but before anyone realized it Motorola's Cooper made the first mobile phone.

In At&T, Cooper was taking on one of the biggest companies in the world, while Motorola at this point was a relatively small company in Chicago. “They considered us to be a flea on an elephant”, Martin explained to the BBC. Despite the David versus Goliath scenario, Martin’s team began designing a prototype in November 1972, and just five months later they had what appeared to be a near-working prototype.

The first mobile phone is the Motorola Dynatak 8000x which weighed around 2 kg and cost around $3999.

First smartphone

The first smartphone, created by IBM, was invented in 1992 and released for purchase in 1994. It was called the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC). 

Later, many companies like blackberry, Nokia, windows, etc. tried producing the smartphones and attracted the mass for short time, but the iPhone launched in 2007, made a big leap and started the revolution.

Soon, the world started changing with introduction different types of smartphones and numerous applications, features, internet, websites, etc. taking over the world as we speak.

And now, we have foldable phones, surround display, buttonless, etc. smartphones and the improvisations keep happening to make the mobiles more user-friendly and more futuristic.

First words spoken in handsets

Neglecting the question who is the true inventor of the telephone? The first words spoken on the telephone by Graham Bell were: "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you."

It's not the word "hello" which was first spoken on the telephone, but the word 'Hello' was populated by Edison. While Bell answered calls with 'Ahoy' throughout his life.

The first words spoken into the mobile phone were in 1973, by Martin Cooper's, "Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cellphone, a real, handheld, portable cellphone.' to his chief competitor Dr. Joel S. Engel, the then head of Bell Labs.

Most Expensive mobile

The Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond ($48.5 million or 350 crore rupees) tops the list as the best and most expensive handset on earth. The gadget comes with gemstone and premium materials, fitted with 24-carat gold, rose gold, or platinum case.

Nita Ambani owns one of the kind.

Largest mobile phone

The largest functioning mobile phone is a scaled-up Samsung SCH-r450. It measures 4.57 x 3.42 x .74 m (15 x 11.2 x 2.5 ft), was achieved by Cricket Communications and Samsung Mobile, on 11 March 2009.

Most sold mobile phone

Over 250 million Nokia 1100 devices were sold, making it the bestselling electrical gadget in history.

This is also considered as the strongest of all phones by many people.

A blog by the author of God’s Chess novel series Pabba Abhishek, aka Writer of God. You can find his other blogs in mediamug.in.

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©2019 by Writer Of God.