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n) Cellphone meets computer and they live happily ever after

n) Cellphone meets computer and they live happily ever after

25.03.2019

 

In 1993, a revolutionary device was launched: a cellphone with touchscreen, email, fax, graphics, and text editor. This first smartphone was not the iPhone, still years away, but the IBM Simon. The idea was visionary, but ahead of its time; technology wasn't ripe enough yet. With only 1 Mb of memory and Kb/s bit rates, it couldn't quite deliver. It was bulky and, at $899, expensive. Others followed and developed the concept (the Nokia 9000 in 1996, with 8 Mb of memory, Ericsson's P800 in 2002, with camera and MP3 player, RIM's Blackberry in 2003, with a full keyboard). The debate raged among engineers as to whether users really wanted a multifunctional device or they preferred dedicated phones, cameras, audio players, etc.

The debate was settled by the iPhone in 2007. With Gbs of memory and Mb/s bit rates, smartphones finally took over: 450 Million shipped in 2011 alone. In fact, smartphones are causing a massive surge in wireless traffic, with a 40-fold increase between 2009 and 2014, of which 2/3 were video. Two decades later, the descendants of the IBM Simon are fulfilling the dream.

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