“Don’t you know where I’m calling from?”: The first cellular phone call 50 years ago

“Don’t you know where I’m calling from?”: The first cellular phone call 50 years ago

The cell phone has become a fundamental part of our lives. We make calls, we check our social networks, we communicate with each other by WhatsApp or other applications, all from a device that fits in our pocket. However, exactly 50 years ago, this was an unthinkable idea.

April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper used a Motorola Dyna TACwhich weighed 1.3 kilograms and had a size of 23 centimeters, to make a call to Joel Engel, a researcher at Bell Labsthe direct competitor of Motorola. Since that day everything changed for the world of devices. mobiles.

“What don’t you know where I’m calling from?” said Cooper to his interlocutor, as he walked through the streets of New York with cell phone in hand. The device used was a prototype that took 10 hours to charge and had only half an hour of battery life.

In 1975, there were 5,000 cell phone customers on the planet and it was only used for making calls. Today there are billions of users with a cell phone permanently in their hand or pocket, and so much has evolved that, today, calling is the least used option by users of smartphones.

The evolution continues, as year after year companies around the world launch new patents to innovate with better designs and functions in this type of devices that have a history of more than 40 years. This decade, foldable phones are gaining more and more ground.

Cell phone maker sometimes feels “terrible”

Martin Cooper believes that we are currently “a bit obsessed” with the cell phone.

He has the latest iPhone and renews it every year, but has mixed feelings.

“When I see someone crossing the street with their eyes on their phone I feel terrible. They’re not thinking,” he told AFP the 94-year-old engineer in his office in Del Mar, Calif.


Daniel Chapman