Motorola MicroTAC 9800X

Motorola MicroTAC 9800X, 1989

The first phone that was not a brick

In 1989 mobile phone service providers were slashing the prices of handsets to attract new customers. Motorola set out to capture the top end of the market. The Motorola MicroTAC 9800X was the smallest and lightest handset on the market. Whilst other phones were bricks, the MciroTAC promised the shape of things to come.

In spite of a price tag of $3000, or £1765, the MicroTAC was well received. The MicroTAC set  Motorola's strategy to produce attention seeking flagship phones that often succeeded to be the coolest mobiles on the planet.

The MicroTAC redefined the look of the mobile phone and introduced a new form, the 'Flip Phone'. The flip became the basic shape of Motorola's premium and mid range phones until the StarTAC came along in 1996.

Although, the 9800X was a breakthrough, it cemented Motorola's commitment to analogue phones, which in 1989, were still new. However, the future of mobile communications lay in GSM and Motorola was slower to adjust to the new game than some of its competitors, perhaps because of Motorola's roots in the USA where analogue looked like it would last.


Motrola 9800X on Facebook

Wikipedia page - Motrola 9800X


Motorola looks to sew up premium cellular market with 9800X mini-phone (Published in Computer Business Review 2 May 1989)

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Comments (19)

I have 2 batteries with mine also phones black leather cover phones gray in color still has original box It came in I'm only interested in serious buyers for a piece of wonderful & great nostalgia that's uniquely rare don't miss your chance to own yours now.... [email protected] or [email protected] I'm Josh BTW also p.s.pick it up while it's still ringing don't miss the call you'll lose a great opportunity
Nicolas Holdt
Hi there. This website is fantastic! I absolutely love it and it's very useful for my final paper in college. Thank you, Steven, for well-written and well-documented knowledge!
Park Jimin
Do you think i could stream Boy with Luv ft. Halsey on this phone? I want to buy it for my Sweet 16.
Was this the first flip phone?
im tired
I have a microtac select 3000 opened but in box...I want to sell.
Natasha Spackman
Hi I have a Motorola 1989 MicroTAC which is in good condition (the aerial is missing). It powers up with a charger still although I do not have a charger; looking to sell. If interested please email me with an offer- I can send pictures if necessary.
Wolfy of London
Paul, im ectremely intrrsted in your microtac 9800 i have great apreation for vintage things let alone something that represents the dtart of an area. Please email me back if it is still available and i will make payment promptly. -Ariah Langston
Wolfy of London
Paul, im ectremely intrrsted in your microtac 9800 i have great apreation for vintage things let alone something that represents the dtart of an area. Please email me back if it is still available and i will make payment promptly. -Ariah Langston
Paul Spooner
I also have one of these for sale, cant find the charger though so not sure if it will power on. Please let me know if anyone is intereted
Please give details so someone can contact you. Best regards
I have one for sale
possiedo un cellulare bosch cartel sl E/1 in perfette condizioni. E' una serie limitata e personalizzata del microtac 9800x motorola. Me lo fornirono nel lontano 1989 dietro ad un acquisto di 20 milioni di materiale bosch di ricambi auto. (translation)I own a cell phone bosch cartel sl E / 1 in perfect condition . It ' a limited series and custom MicroTac 9800x motorola . They provided me back in 1989 behind a purchase of 20 million material bosch auto parts .
David Scott Curtis
Loved, loved, loved this phone and I think the one or version right before it. (Probably the lighter colored gray one.) This version was honestly my favorite phone of all time because of the weight and how it fit in my hand. I had gone all mobile back in 1991 realizing the a landline would not be useful for me. It seemed that from from somewhere during the mid to late 1980's through the mid 1990's before the phones switched from analog to digital and a very large number of individuals suddenly started getting cellular phones, that service was amazing as few were accessing either the towers or the networks. If anyone has experience transitioning back to the mid-1990 Motorola's and how they function in 2014, I would love to hear about it as I considering going old school with my phone back to a flip phone. Please contact me at my first name on the post at my personal site for (Just trying to keep the bots that might scrap this to a minimum to keep any spam down so eliminate the dub dub dub and the period before my name.) Also, if anyone out there could be taking MicroTacs or the generation right before this era and putting in brand new electronics, batteries and maybe a USB charge for convenience today, I would love to hear about that as well.
Ilike your site and I'm interessed to buy someone piecea ! where can I do?
I would say around £50. Although it's difficult to say as they don't come up often.
john davison
How much is one of these worth if you are selling one.
Albert Marc Justine Carreon
Motorola DynaTAC, MicroTAC, StarTAC
Mobile phone history