50 Years of the Cell Phone


Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Chesed Russell, Staff Reporter

Are you reading this article on your phone right now? That would not even be a possibility without the creation of the first brick-like, wireless phone. 

50 years ago, this month, the first cell phone was used to make the first wireless call on the streets of New York. According to The Atlantic, the call occurred “on Sixth Avenue, between 53rd and 54th Street and was placed to the headquarters of Bell Labs in New Jersey” and directly to the head of the company, Joel Engel.

The call was made on April 3, 1973 by Martin Cooper, who, at the time, was an engineer at Motorola, with the first conversation beginning with the words, “I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end,’ or something to that effect.” While these inaugural words are not the most exciting, this scene became a founding cornerstone for the continually evolving cell phone industry.

Cellular phones have changed drastically over the past half century. According to Cooper, the first cell phone “ended up weighing 2 ½ pounds…about 10 inches, inch and a half wide, 3 inches deep.” It was truly like a brick. Now with a more modern, sleeker, and tech savvy design, iPhones, Samsung, and other Smart Phones have become a staple in our world.

This world’s incredible advancements in technology have helped the cell phone industry do something that at one point seemed unimaginable, create a wireless telephone that could comfortably fit inside of a pocket.

“Overall, I think the cell phone has changed humanity for the better and that will continue in the future.”

— Martin Cooper to CNN

Gitnux reported that “Apple has sold over 1.5 billion iPhones since 2007…” and generated over “65.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2023”. Needless to say, the production, sale, and desire for a cellphone has swept the United States and the world.

Services such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T would most likely have never been founded and definitely would not have grown into what they are today, if it weren’t for the creation of the cell phone. Cell phones have played a crucial role in inspiring newer, faster, and overall better technology to assist our growing and changing world.

Technology has come such a long way since 1973, and in 50 more years technological advancements will be so far beyond what we could ever imagine.