Business

Mobile phone turns 40 with 29 million in use in Australia

Martin Cooper made history when in April 1973 he made the first phone call from a mobile phone
Martin Cooper made history when in April 1973 he made the first phone call from a mobile phone

THE 40th anniversary of the mobile phone passed by quietly yesterday, with no celebration for the device which has become an integral part of modern society.

On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer and general manager of the communications systems division Martin Cooper talked his way into the history books by becoming the first person to make a call on a handheld cell phone in public.

Dr Cooper lifted the relatively enormous Motorola DynaTAC to his ear while standing on Sixth Ave, New York, to place a call that would be remembered as the debut of mobile communications.

In an interview with technology website The Verge, last year, Dr Cooper said the call was to Bell Labs rival Joel Engler, who was also working to pioneer mobile technology.

"Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone," he said.

Gawking New Yorkers were inevitably curious and many would have tuned in to witness the DynaTAC's announcement at a press conference soon after.

The DynaTAC cost about $4000, weighed nearly a kilogram, had 35 minutes of talk-time and a battery life of 20 minutes, which was considered a stunning achievement at the time.

Today's smart phones offer a wide variety of functions, including text messaging, browsing the internet and snapping photos, all of which are often taken for granted.

And the DynaTAC's debut, marked by a simple phone call, was the crucial beginning of the communication revolution.

According to independent researcher BuddeComm there is an estimated 29 million mobile phones in Australia, despite our population of only 23 million.

Topics:  mobile phones


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Calling all musos for NCEIA Dolphin awards

ON STAGE: Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at the 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony.

Entries are open to independent musicians to audition

Up front with Kim and Jimmy at Tintenbar

STATE OF BLISS: Kim Banffy will play at The UpFront Club this weekend.

KIM Banffy (pictured) and Jimmy Dowling at Tintenbar

Fight for skate park continues

The Thank You campaign from WASP.

"Thank you" campaign launched to reassure councillors

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Bong throwing at Nimbin MardiGrass

THERE was no shortage of brave (or foolish) competitors in the Nimbin MardiGrass “Hemp Olympix” on Saturday.

Calling all musos for NCEIA Dolphin awards

ON STAGE: Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at the 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony.

Entries are open to independent musicians to audition

Up front with Kim and Jimmy at Tintenbar

STATE OF BLISS: Kim Banffy will play at The UpFront Club this weekend.

KIM Banffy (pictured) and Jimmy Dowling at Tintenbar

Fight for skate park continues

The Thank You campaign from WASP.

"Thank you" campaign launched to reassure councillors

Milestone for Northern Rivers church

CELEBRATION: Pastor Allan Jones and Elaine McCormack of the Alstonville Baptist Church are looking forward to the celebration for the church’s 60th anniversary.

Alstonville Baptists celebrate 60th anniversary

CSG reference in draft plan is a ‘betrayal of our community’

Ballina Councillor, Jeff Johnson, will stand as  an Independent Candidate for the electorate of Ballina at the State election on 28 March. Photo Contributed

Ballina councillor says the North Coast should be an exclusion zone.

See what’s on in this week’s gig guide

RHYTHM: Grace Barbe will be in Nimbin this Weekend as part of the Black Magic Woman show.

We have plenty of music gigs this week in the area.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances