Cell phone celebrates its 40th birthday

Cell phones are officially over the hill. Maybe you’ve been using one for 15, or even 20 years, but a Motorola engineer named Martin Cooper made the first mobile call way back in 1973.
(CNN/WSYR-TV) -- A Motorola engineer named Martin Cooper made the first mobile call way back in 1973.

When asked if he ever thought cell phones would be as ubiquitous as they are today he said, “Oh, well we knew even in 1973 that someday everybody would have a cell phone. We used to tell a joke that someday when you were born you’d be assigned a telephone number and if you didn’t answer the phone, you died.”

Cooper made the first-ever call from a DynaTAC prototype. Ten years later, the first commercial phone call was made to Alexander Graham Bell’s nephew.

In 1996, the first flip phone – Motorola’s StarTAC – was introduced.

And in 2007, Apple revolutionized the market with the iPhone.

Along the way there were car phones – once revolutionary and now obsolete – and in many cases against the law.

But it inspired the cellular telephone. The average American caught a glimpse of a heavier version in the 80s by watching everyone from Gordon Gekko to Zack Morris talking on a cell phone.

In the 90s, cell phones took off and got way more user friendly. They also shrank way down in size.

These days, new types of cell phones are constantly coming into the market that let users access the Internet, play music and even watch movies.

Now, Apple is about to introduce the iPhone 6.

As of last year, six-billion cell phones were in use around the world and cell phone service is rapidly spreading throughout developing countries.

“Twenty years from now it will be much simpler than today's phone. You're going to have a phone - maybe in your earring or behind your ear, or maybe even embedded under your skin so you're going to be able to make phone calls by almost just thinking about what you want to do,” Cooper said.

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