Milestone Models in Mobile Phone History

Milestone Models in Mobile Phone History

Mobile phones have taken a long journey from their tender beginnings to the advanced machines that they are today. While some users take the feature-rich devices for granted, the digital age of mobiles is only a few decades old. The following is a contrasting look at the phones of the 1990s and the phones of today.

Apple made headlines in 1993 with the Newton Message Pad. This consumer-friendly personal digital assistant was large, like a notepad of today, which limited its user base primarily to business users. It was able to make phone calls, but it also had a note feature, a phone book, calculator, maps with time zones and a currency converter. The Newton’s real claim to fame was a handwriting recognition feature that allowed the user’s stylus-captured handwriting to be transcribed in a text document. This document could be transferred to a personal computer for use at home or work, printed or saved for later use.


The success of these features and other Newton applications was quickly recognized as the way to attract customers. Today, the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S II are among the most user-friendly of smartphones on the market, boasting thousands of apps that do everything that the old Newton could and more. From tracking coupons to playing music or games, these smartphones have capabilities that seal their places as crowd favorites.

Hot on the heels of the Newton came Nokia’s 9000 phone in 1996. The first in the Communicator series, the 9000 was a very basic phone. It had a gray scale screen, 8MB of memory and an Intel 386 processor. Weighing in at a stocky 14 ounces, this phone had no camera, no special ringtones and no Bluetooth. What set it apart from the other mobiles on the market? The 9000 flipped open to reveal a full keyboard opposite the screen. It was featured in the 1997 remake of ‘The Saint’ with Val Kilmer. The phone went to the head of the must-have list despite its shortcomings. The Communicator series paved the way for Nokia’s smartphone offerings, including the coming N950. Nokia’s innovative and signature hidden key pad continues to this day in flips and slides.

The year 1996 also brought about the Motorola StarTAC. The StarTAC was the smallest mobile phone available at the time. It had a brand new clamshell design that set the trend for many phones that followed. PC World voted the StarTAC number six in the “50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 years” in 2005 because of its many unique features. For instance, StarTAC brought about SMS messaging. Motorola held the patent on mobile phone vibration, and this was the first phone to feature it. Compared to its chunky competitor, the Nokia 9000, StarTAC’s 3.31 ounce profile made it attractive to users.

The phone was featured with Nicholas Cage in the film 8mm. Motorola now offers the Droid Razr Maxx. This phone is packed with features to delight any mobile user. With extended battery life, 4G capability and the Andriod operating system, the Razr Maxx is widely popular.

Ericsson made an even lighter phone than the StarTAC in 1999. The T28 weighed in at only 2.85 grams. Its flip was automatic, with push button operation that kept consumers from having to manually open their handsets. The introduction of lithium polymer batteries was with the Ericsson T28, as well. While the phone had a black and white screen, the battery life was extended through this battery to 4.5 hours of active user or 8.2 days on standby.

The T28 had a sophisticated look that the late 90s phone market fell for. Quickly, it became the best-selling phone in America with a great market share abroad. Sony’s newest project is the Xperia ion. This HD phone is designed to push the limits of entertainment with PlayStation-certified games, unlimited video and music and much more.

This article was written by Chloe Parker. Chloe would like to invite you to go to and check out their latest phone offers and mobile news.

About the Author:
This article is contributed by Chloe Parker and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,
Rizwan Ahmad
Rizwan Ahmad

Rizwan is an avid mobile geek and a gaming lover. He loves to keep a tab on new tech and loves to share the latest tech news and reviews on Smartphones, Gadgets, Apps, and more.


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