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40th anniversary of first cellphone call: How mobile technology has advanced
Forty years ago today, Marty Cooper of Motorola made history when he placed the first-ever cellphone call while walking down Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The recipient? Cooper's rival at New Jersey's Bell Laboratories, Joel Engel, whose work was also crucial to today's mobile infrastructure and who later founded JSE Consulting, a technology company in Armonk.
It took another decade before the first commercial cellphone, the 2.5-pound Motorola Dynatac 8000x, was sold to the public for almost $4,000, or $8,700 in 2013 money. That steep price bought you 30 minutes of battery life, which took 10 hours to recharge.
The technology has come a long way since then -- Japanese company Willcom recently unveiled what it calls the world's smallest and lightest phone, the Phone Strap 2, which weighs just 32 grams.
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It's a little ironic that today, while the media celebrate the anniversary of that first cellphone call, modern cellphones are used for making calls only 16 percent of the time, according to Mashable. Cellphones are now overwhelmingly used to send emails and text messages, browse the Web and access mobile applications.
The trends in mobile have moved from a focus on voice to a focus on data, expert Dr. Mike Short told The Huffington Post.
"In [the] future, we'll move towards fuller data services such as video -- much more video to video calling," said Short, the president of the Board of Trustees at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London. "Much more screens on the wall in your home, maybe more video television downloaded, catch-up TV, that sort of thing."