Evolution of Mobile Phones: 1995 – 2012

Mobile phones have become a crucial part of our daily life nowadays. Everyone – from teenagers to old men – has a personal cell phone of their own. But the mobile phones we see now didn’t look like this earlier, instead they were something totally different, something you wouldn’t even think of having around you or using.

Improved technology has made a great change in the history of mobile phones, transforming the huge brick-like mobile phones of 1995 to sleek and stylish smartphones we carry with us now. Let’s take a ride back to the past and look at how cellphones developed from the bulky walkie-talkie look to today’s swipe-savvy descendants.

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In 1995 mobile phones used to look like this, huge in size and with a pretty long antenna. It is similar to today’s cordless phone. It must seem real odd to us now, but back then this cell phone were the craze of the day.


In 1996, mobile phones became a little more defined and better looking than how they were before. Antennas were shortened and the designs modified; the features were also upgraded. The above image shows Nokia 9000 which was one of the most popular phones of that time.


In 1996, the antennas vanished from the mobile phones, giving an improved look than how it was before. This enhancement also saved space and marked the introduction of internal antennas in the mobile phones. The above image shows a typical cell phone of 1997 from telco AT&T.


Though antennas were removed from most of the mobile phones, there are still some of them who retained antennas and changed the typical colour of black to vibrant coloured cases instead. The above image shows Nokia 5110 which was launched in 1998 and was available in a variety of colours to choose from.


In 1999, mobile phones were given a more compact look. The above image shows a Nokia 3210, features cool colours, internal antenna and better graphics in a much smaller package than previous phones.


In 2000, the world’s first touchscreen phone came out. Although it didn’t have advanced touchscreen technology like those available today, but at that time it was a huge craze and the introduction of a promising technology. The image shows a Motorola phone which has a simple black and white touchscreen, allowing easier access to various features than before.


2001 was the birth year of the world’s first monochromatic display cell phone, and with that we wave goodbye to the old and boring black display. The image shows a Nokia 8250, which had a single colour display, for example the background was not the same grey background anymore, it had backgrounds of different colours like blue, which along with the compact design made this phone a great choice for everyone.


In 2002, technology made another huge change in the history of mobile phones, putting a great full colour display and integrating camera to mobile phones, producing the world’s first camera cell phone. The Nokia 7650 shown here is on sliding mode, features a great colour display and a 0.3MP camera allowing you to snap pictures on the move.


In 2003, the clam shell phone very much like the Samsung S300 above was introduced. mobile phones are no longer limited to single screen. This model has a small screen on the outside to notify calls and text messages coming in, and a big screen on the inner for the user to type messages and carry out other functions of the phone.


2004 gave rise to the one of the slimmest cell phone of the time, created by Motorola. The above image shows a Motorola V3, which was in a class of its own, bearing stunning looks, a slim shape, dual screen, VGA Camera and lots of other exciting features. mobile phones have come a long way from brick-like bulky to stylish sleek that can fit in your shirt pocket. Surely we’ve reached the pinnacle of cell phone evolution, right?


In 2005, Sony unveiled the world’s first Walkman phone, and W800i was truly an awesome phone definitive of the series. The Sony W800i shown here was built for delivering great music and with dedicated buttons for music playback, Memory Stick support, which made it a great gadget for enjoying music anytime on the go. And it still serves all the main purpose of a cell phone.


In 2006, mobile phones were transforming with into a stylish gadget. It began its new role as an accessory to mark the personality of the owner, to make a statement of what defines one’s preferences, likes and dislikes. The LG Chocolate, was a great example of how cellphone designers are putting style in the forefront of cell phone design.


In 2007, Apple Inc unveiled the Apple iPhone, which was the world’s first advanced touchscreen smartphone. It’s the first phone to have an operating system, the iOS, and by enabling apps to run on the phone, it had allowed cellphones to become the primary mobile device of use. Having an iPhone became a source of pride.


In 2008, as dependence on the laptop as a necessary tool for work increase, mobile phones undergo transformation to become the device to have with you on-the-go. The HTC G1, which was a slider cell phone that hides a full QWERTY keypad beneath its large screen, runs on the Android OS.


In 2009, mobile phones can still fit in your palm but the screens get bigger and bears higher resolutions for high performance display. The Motorola Milestone carries a large touchscreen, full QWERTY Keypad and ran on Android OS, delivering advanced features to work with.


In 2010, mobile phones were transformed into something like this. Have you ever imagined that you could see this kind of cell phone evolving from the typical brick type heavy phones in the past? The above image shows a Motorola Backflip, which featured a new kind of form, allowing the user to flip the screen on the back of the phone for easy working, as shown above.


2011 marked the return of the touchscreen which dominated the mobile gadget scene with its powerful hardware and sleek looks. The above image shows a Samsung Galaxy S II, which has just about all the things that a cell phone and its owner needs in this modern age. It has an 8MP camera and AMOLED Display, runs on the Android OS, is less than 1 cm thick, supports web browsing, calls and has an in-built GPS. This was the phone to beat in 2011.


In 2012, we have the Nokia Lumia 800, which runs on the Windows 7 Mobile Edition OS. No one could have imagined that in a mere 17 years, mobile phones could have made the leap from just being the alternative to landlines to becoming a computer, GPS, radio and our lifeline to the Internet, and still be able to fit in your pocket.

mobile phones have evolved a lot in terms of their form, performance and features, and will continue to evolve more and more in the future. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us on the next evolutionary stage of mobile phones.