Mobile phone history
Do you remember when you bought your first mobile phone? Perhaps you were able to stump up the £3000 needed for a cell phone back in 1985, or perhaps you got mobile when digital came along in the early 90s, or when the first pay-as-you-go service began in 1997? Everyone has their own story.
Despite being as common as a Bic Biro, the mobile phone has remained a highly visible 'badge' product, reflecting its owner's outlook and values. Whether you are a top executive or a teenager, certain phones have been the coolest on the planet for a short space of time.
In recent years, values of early mobile phones have nearly outstripped their cost back in the day. The mobile phone is now also a serious investment as well as an important piece of social history.
History of 3G
Almost 10 years ago on 3/3/2003 the first 3G consumer phone network opened for business in the UK. Read about the History of 3G
Mobile phone anniversaries:
We can look forward to these new anniversaries in 2013.
40 years: on 3 April 1973 Dr Martin Cooper made the first call on a cellular network on using a prototype Motorola DynaTAC phone.
30 years: on 6 March 1983 the Motorola 8000X went on sale in the USA. It was the world's first hand portable mobile phone.
20 years: on 7 September 1993 Mercury's One2One service started. There were two handsets, the M200 and M300. It was the first UK service for consumers and the first on the new PCN frequency. Mercury is now T-Mobile in the UK.
10 years: on 3/3/2003 the UK's first third generation mobile service operated by '3' started. The first handset is the NEC e606.
Twenty years of texting
Would you believe it, we have had twenty years of text messages. On 3 December 1992, Neil Papworth, sent the world's first text "Merry Christmas" to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis, who received it on an Orbitel TPU 901.
First phone with the Nokia tune
We all know the distinctive Nokia tune. Nokia first introduced this as ringtone on their flagship business phone the 2110, back in 1994. Check out our updated feature on the Nokia 2110
Motorola phones from the 80s and 90s
Motorola made a huge number of phones for the UK market between 1985 and 1999, check out the list of Motorola phones
The first mobile phone to....
What was the first camera phone, the first phone with a colour screen or the first GSM phone?
What was the first mobile phone to...?
Mobile phones from the 80s
Read our definitive guide to the original Yuppie brick phones from the 80s.
Last of the 80s bricks
Racing driver, Nigel Mansell helped promote the Japanese made OKI CDL 700E in 1989. It was the last of the 80s brick phones. See OKI CDL700E
Price guide update
I have updated the Price Guide with the latest results from eBay.
Have you ever wondered how Nokia managed to dominate the mobile phone market in the 90s and early 2000s? Their divide and conquer approach offered a phone for every taste.
Colour screens and camera phones
In 2001 the mobile phone industry was desperate for something new to get customers buying again. Colour screens and camera phones were big in Japan, would they work in the UK?
Lost on the Tube
I spotted this ticket on a mobile phone in the Transport for London Lost Property Office in Baker Street. It was abandoned on the Tube in 1986. Read more: Mobiles left on the Tube
Nokia's ultra basic rinGo came to the UK with Vodafone's Pay As You Talk package in 1997. Commentators thought it was no star, but Nokia denied it was a bimbo phone.
The Ericsson EH237 was a classic Ericsson phone which swept the board with awards for design and usability back in 1994.
How much is that old mobile phone lying in your desk drawer worth? Some are going for big money on eBay. Check out our Vintage mobiles price guide
What price a mobile phone?
How much did mobiles cost in the 80s and 90s? Read our new article about the most expensive phones. See How much did mobile phones cost?
First PAYG phone
Carphone Warehouse announced that sales of pre-pay mobiles slumped by 40% in the last months of 2011. Has the rise in smart phones, which make more sense with a contract, and the state of the economy, put paid to the UK's favourite way to buy a mobile?
Mobile phone history
Celebrating mobile life