Motorola Personal Phone
The UK's first consumer phone
- Date launched: 1992
- Network: TACS
- Form: Brick
- Size: 59(w)x160(h)x35(d) mm
- Cost: £250
- Can you use it today: No
The Motorola Personal phone is an unusual beast. It feels more like a domestic phone handset rather than a mobile. There is a reason for this. It was Motorola's first UK consumer phone and they wanted people to feel that they were on familiar territory.
Motorola launched the Personal Phone in 1992. The two providers, Vodafone and Cellnet, had the business market covered, but mobile phones were, as yet, still too expensive for consumers.
Motorola made this phone as simple as possible. There was no display. It had simple buttons, very similar to those on a cordless phone and only three function keys: 'Power', 'Send' and 'Call End'. There was nothing to confuse the fledgling mobile user. Sony also entered this market in 1992 taking a very different approach with the much more sophisticated CMH-333.
Rather than take the classic early adopter marketing approach and aim for the top end the market, the service providers pushed consumer mobiles for emergency use. Connection and rental charges were low compared to business packages, but call charges were higher.
The simple layout of the design of this handset, reflects this approach. An emergency phone would be of no use if you had to pick-up the instruction manual to work out how to make a call.