April 3, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the first ever cell phone call made by a Motorola engineer named Martin Cooper. The historic moment happened on the streets of New York City in 1973, where Cooper demonstrated the first portable cell phone in public.
Cooper, who was working for Motorola at the time, made the call to his rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel, to let him know that Motorola had successfully developed a portable cell phone. The device weighed over two pounds and was almost 10 inches long, making it much larger than today’s smartphones.
The first commercially available cell phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, was released in 1983 and had a price tag of $3,995. It could store only one phone number and had a battery life of only 30 minutes of talk time.
Today, cell phones have become an integral part of our daily lives, with over 5 billion people worldwide using mobile devices. They have transformed the way we communicate, work, and connect with others. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first cell phone call, we look back at how far we’ve come and anticipate the continued evolution of mobile technology.