1946 Mobile Telephone Service. This system was introduced in 6-17-1946. Also known as Mobile Radio-Telephone Service. This system required operator assistance in order to complete a call. These units do not have direct dial capabilities.
1954 Martin Cooper, known by many as the father of the cellular phone. Hired by Motorola in 1954, Mr. Cooper worked on developing portable products, including the first portable handheld police radios, made for the Chicago police department in 1967.
1972 – Bell Labs receives a patent for its Mobile Communications System, which describes and enables handoffs between cells.
1975 U.S. military begins using fiber optics
The U.S. military begins using fiber optics to improve communications systems when the navy installs a fiber-optic telephone link on the USS Little Rock. Used to transmit data modulated into light waves, the specially designed bundles of transparent glass fibers are thinner and lighter than metal cables, have greater bandwidth, and can transmit data digitally while being less susceptible to interference. The first commercial applications come in 1977 when AT&T and GTE install fiber-optic telephone systems in Chicago and Boston. By 1988 and 1989, fiber-optic cables are carrying telephone calls across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
1983 - Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) released using the 800 MHz to 900 MHz frequency band and the 30 kHz bandwidth for each channel as a fully automated mobile telephone service. AMPS is the first standardized cellular service in the world.
- Motorola introduced the DynaTAC mobile telephone unit, the first truly “mobile” radiotelephone. The phone, dubbed the “brick”, had one hour of talk time and eight hours of standby.
1987 - Industry tops $1 billion in revenue.
1989 – Motorola announces the MicroTAC personal cellular phone, which uses a flip-lid mouthpiece. The phone retails for an estimated $3000.
1992 - The FCC allocates spectrum in the 2 GHz band for emerging technologies, including Personal Communications Services (PCS). The number of cellular users pass the 10 million milestone. 10,000 cell sites across America.
1992 – World’s first commercial text message sent by employees of Logica CMG.
The first smartphone was the IBM Simon; it was designed in 1992 and shown as a concept product. Besides being a mobile phone, it also contained a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail client, the ability to send and receive faxes and games. It had no physical buttons, instead customers used a touchscreen to select telephone numbers with a finger or create faxes and memos with an optional stylus.
1998 - The average consumer used his or her phone for 122 minutes per month.
2000 - Camera phones introduced in Japanese market.
In 2000, the touchscreen Ericsson R380 Smartphone was released. It was the first device to use an open operating system, the Symbian OS. It was the first device marketed as a 'smartphone'. It combined the functions of a mobile phone and a personal digital assistant (PDA).
2001 - The average wireless consumer uses his or her phone for 320 minutes per month.
2002- In 2002 RIM released their first BlackBerry devices with integrated phone functionality and shifted the positioning of their products from 2-way pagers to email-capable mobile phones. The BlackBerry line evolved into the first smartphone optimized for wireless email use and had achieved a total customer base of about 32 million subscribers by December 2009.
2007In 2007, Apple Inc. introduced its first iPhone. It was initially costly, priced at $499 for the cheaper of two models on top of a two year contract. The first mobile phone to use a multi-touch interface, the iPhone was notable for its use of a large touchscreen for direct finger input as its main means of interaction, instead of having a stylus, keyboard, and/or keypad, which were the typical input methods for other smartphones at the time. The iPhone featured a web browser that Ars Technica then described as "far superior" to anything offered by that of its competitors. Initially lacking the capability to install native applications beyond the ones built-in to its OS, at WWDC in June 2007 Apple announced that the iPhone would support third-party "web 2.0 applications" running in its web browser that share the look and feel of the iPhone interface.
2008-In July 2008, Apple introduced its second generation iPhone with a lower list price starting at $199 and 3G support. Released with it, Apple also created the App Store, adding the capability for any iPhone or iPod Touch to officially execute additional native applications (both free and paid) installed directly over a Wi-Fi or cellular network, without the more typical process at the time of requiring a PC for installation. Applications could additionally be browsed through and downloaded directly via the iTunes software client on Macintosh and Windows PCs, rather than by searching through multiple sites across the Internet. Featuring over 500 applications at launch.
2008- The Android operating system for smartphones was released in 2008. Android is an open-source platform backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers (such as Intel, HTC, ARM, Motorola and Samsung, to name a few), that form the Open Handset Alliance. The first phone to use Android was the HTC Dream, branded for distribution by T-Mobile as the G1. The software suite included on the phone consists of integration with Google's proprietary applications, such as Maps, Calendar, and Gmail, and a full HTML web browser.