The mobile phone industry has made dramatic progress in the last few decades. It’s difficult to find anyone who isn’t attached to their device throughout the day, constantly updating social media, sending messages to friends and playing games on their favourite apps.
It wasn't too long ago that the mobile phone was just something to call and text with. Even a few years before that it might have been considered a fad that was never going to take off.
However, the mobile phone industry is now one of the biggest and most profitable sectors in the world.
But what are the models that really made some big waves in the world of mobile phones?
Here are some of the revolutionary designs that helped to shape the market as we know it today.
Computing firm IBM aren’t known for their prowess in the mobile phone industry. However, back in 1994 they arguably created the world’s first smartphone.
It featured a touchscreen, and allowed users not only to make phone calls, but also to access emails and receive faxes.
There were even examples of primitive apps stored on the device, including a notepad, world clock, calculator and a calendar.
Despite perhaps being the smartphone that started it all, few can really remember the IBM Simon ever existing. According to Bloomberg, only 50,000 units were sold.
Although not revolutionary in terms of what it offered—as a few phones had already achieved similar feats, such as texting and basic gaming, before—the Nokia 3210 was the machine that heralded a mobile phone generation.
It was the model that everyone had. If you didn’t have a Nokia 3210, you weren’t cool enough to be in the gang. If you didn’t have a score of over 900 on Snake, it was not advised to even show your face.
The phone became not just a useful device; it also became a must-have accessory. And surely that is partly what modern mobile phones have strived to achieve?
This was the phone that set BlackBerry up as the ultimate provider of business phones. Able to connect the high-flyer on the go, the 7230 let users access emails, schedule appointments and set reminders for important meetings.
It was a phone and a PDA all in one, and it became a big hit among people who simply couldn’t afford to switch off from the working day.
Both a blessing and a curse, perhaps, as it helps to enable remote working, but also means we never really leave the office.
This is where it all went a bit crazy. The original iPhone welcomed a new era for mobile phones.
It was sleek, it was stylish, and it was smart. Packed with technologies that were accessible just with a finger tap and making the word “app” a part of the English language, the iPhone was the game-changer. It brought the internet to your fingertips and to life.
With a powerful operating system, the iPhone enabled us to do a whole range of new things with our phone that we could barely even conceive possible just ten years ago.
The first real challenger to the iPhone’s dominance, the Samsung Galaxy is really starting to rival the king for a spot on the best-smartphone throne. With higher tech specs it’s garnered much hyped interest from the non-apple fanboys.
Of course, it’s not just the top level Galaxy models that are challenging the long held throne. The explosion of affordable smartphones such as the easy-to-use Galaxy Y mobile phone has completely changed the market.
It’s widened the competition and allowed new networks to prosper, as phones are no longer exclusively locked down to one provider. Supermarkets such as Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s have got in on the act, driving prices lower, making the latest revolutionary phones available for the masses.
As ever it’s a battle of the tech giants at the top end. The Galaxy S3 range and above run Google’s Android operating system, offering similar capabilities to that of the iOS system found in iPhones.
How long the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google will reign is unknown? But you can be sure the next out of this world phone is just around the corner.