The Mobile Phone Turns 40

Forty years ago, senior Motorola engineer Marty Cooper made one very important phone call. From midtown Manhattan, Marty called Joel Engel, then the head of rival research department Bell Labs. When Joel picked up, Marty uttered something rather unexpected: "Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a mobile phone, a real handheld portable mobile phone."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was greeted by silence. Not because the phone call didn't work, silly, but because Motorola had won.

On this very day back in 1973, then, the first ever mobile phone call was made. Marty used a Motorola DynaTAC 8000x (pictured above) to make the call. The phone weighed just over 1kg and went on to sell for an incredible $US4000 — that's over $US9000 in today's terms — which makes your Android or iPhone seem both incredibly light and insanely good value. Here's to the next 40 years. [The Verge]

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