Top 10 mobile phone firsts

There were plenty of firsts in the development of mobile phones. They are not always the phones you expect. Check our list of firsts.

These are the ten phones that have contributed most to mobile life in the UK:

Motorola Dynatac 8000x, authur:Redrum0486, distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 
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1983 - world's first hand portable

The Motorola 8000X was the first hand held mobile phone. Motorola experimented with prototypes in the 70s and Dr Martin Cooper made the first ever cell phone call in 1973.

Read more: Motorola 8000X

Orbitel TPU 900, the World's first GSM phone

1991 - world's first GSM phone

The British made Orbitel TPU 900 was the world's first GSM phone.

Orbitel TPU 900

Motorola Personal Phone, 1992

1992 - first consumer phones

The first consumers were interested in easy to use phones for emergency calls only. The Personal Phone was Motorola's first UK consumer phone.

Personal phone

Mercury M200, first One2One phone

1993 - the first One2One phones

With the promise of free evening and weekend calls, Mercury targeted consumers with the M200 and M300 phones.

Mecury M200

Mercury M300

Orbitel TPU 900, the World's first GSM phone

1994 - the first Orange phone

When the Orange network started, customers had the opportunity to own one of the top mobiles of the time. The Orange branded Nokia 2140 was a variation of the Nokia 2110.

Nokia 2140

Ericsson GA628, 1997

1997 - first customisable phone

Ericsson's GA628 was the first phone you could officially customise to your own taste. It was aimed more at the younger market than traditional mobile phone buyers and started a trend. However, only the panel around the keyboard was interchangeable.

Ericsson GA628

Nokia 7110, 1999

1999 - world's first internet phone

In February 1999 Nokia announced the world's first phone with a WAP(wireless application protocol) browser. Making it the first phone capable of browsing the internet. Not only that, it had the ultra cool Matrix inspired sliding case, making it instantly the most desirable handset.

Motorola Timeport L7089, 1999

1999 - world's first tri-band phone

Travelling to Europe, the Middle-East, Asia, Africa and the USA? Don't worry about your mobile, the Motorola Timeport worked around the globe. The prefect phone for the high flying exec.

Read more - Motorola Timeport

Sharp J-SH04, 2000 (author: Morio, modified by Retrowow and distriubuted under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

2000 - world's first camera phone

The Sharp J-SH04, launched in November 2000, was the world's first commercially available camera phone. The only snag: you could only use it in Japan.

Sony Ericsson T68i, the first phone in the UK to offer picture messaging

2002 - UK's first picture messaging service

T-Mobile announced the UK's first picture messaging service in 2002, using the Sony Ericsson T68i. It was not a camera phone; you needed to attach a separate camera module.


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"What about the worlds first colour screen phone the Samsung T100. It wasn't great but boy did it make us geeks look cool for once!" David Feeley 07/14/2012
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Mobile phone history