The Smartphone is 20 Years Old, Believe It or Not | News | ChannelWorld.in

PARTNER HOTLINES

The Smartphone is 20 Years Old, Believe It or Not

Added on Nov 27, 2012 by Jon Gold

The breakneck pace of change in the smartphone world is well known: Since the iPhone catalyzed popular demand in 2007, development has been moving faster and faster, to the point where devices are out of date mere months after their release. However, this wasn't always the case. In fact, according to some estimates, the smartphone is actually all of 20 years old, as of last Friday.

WE'VE COME A LONG WAY
: Bye-bye, mouse. Hello, mind control

MORE MOBILE:
Dual-identity smartphones could bridge BYOD private, corporate divide

The IBM Simon was rolled out on Nov. 23, 1992, at COMDEX, though it was code-named "Angler" at the time. You likely couldn't have fit it in your pocket, given that it was about the size of today's Nexus 7, but then, at 18 ounces in weight, it probably would've made you walk funny anyway. It sported a 16MHz processor, 1MB of memory and 1MB of storage. Its operating system was a variant of DOS.

Its external app ecosystem consisted of exactly one program -- a PC-to-Simon texting tool called DispatchIt, which cost $3,000 for the PC software and an additional $300 for every Simon client. To be fair, however, it could do some things modern smartphones can't, like accept fax transmissions.

As primitive as Simon looks today, however, it was still recognizably a smartphone -- it used an app drawer, had touch-screen input (admittedly, in monochrome and with a stylus) and was even sold via the same subsidized pricing scheme commonly used today, at $900 with a new two-year deal from BellSouth Cellular.

[Video is complete with real knee-slapper of an Android joke at the end.]

Unfortunately, Simon wasn't a commercial success -- according to Bloomberg, it was plagued by half-hearted marketing, short battery life and a host of other problems, and spent a total of six months on the market before being yanked.

Still, despite all that, Simon was undeniably the forerunner of today's smartphones. What's more, it's a great reminder of how far the technology has come in two decades, and how fast it continues to develop. Just think of Simon the next time you complain that iOS 6 is terrible or that you haven't gotten an Android update for a whole month.

Email Jon Gold (who has done both of those things) at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Latest Videos

Vishal Dhupar: NVIDIA is taking Graphics Virtualization to the next level

Vishal Dhupar, MD - South Asia, NVIDIA, talks cloud GPU, the power of graphics virtualization and how NVIDIA is going to be one of the cornerstones of the smart city pie.

Revisiting Customer Strategy Pays: Ram Kumar R, Gemini Communication

R Ram Kumar, Director of Chennai’s Gemini Communication (GCL), explains at length why an overhaul of GCL’s customer strategy and re-establishing connect were vital in helping the company bounce back.

EDITOR'S PICK

Why Flash Storage Will Rule: Analysts

Analysts say flash storage’s enviable speed and performance are stirring up a revolution in the Indian storage market, opening new opportunities for organizations. 

3 steps to digitizing your work for maximum productivity

From the earliest days as a marketing slogan, the elusive concept of the so-called paperless office may finally be taking shape, if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by. A growing number of small businesses and startups, unencumbered by legacy processes, are quietly ditching printouts for an all-digital ecosystem, buoyed by soaring BYOD ownership and growing familiarity with a plethora of cloud services.

Is the information security industry having a midlife crisis?

The information security industry is hot right now, but it's hot because it's failing. The daily announcements about breaches and lost data confirm that criminals are winning the security battle, but how can InfoSec reposition itself in order to win the war?

SLIDESHOWS

The State of the Internet

Akamai's Q1 2015 state of the internet report provides insights into key global statistics including connection speeds, broadband adoption (fixed and mobile networks), and IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

India Software Market on an Upswing

According to IDC, the Indian software market has witnessed consistent growth of 10 percent since the second half of 2014, showing signs of growth and revival. 

7 Jobs Technology Has Replaced

Albert Einstein said once that it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. With every invention of technology some poor soul becomes vulnerable to losing his or her job in some corner of the world. Here are few jobs that will cease to exist soon.

Changing Fortunes of Top Tech Companies

The tech sector has been led by these companies for a long time. But how have they fared over the quarters?

India's Leading VADs

Why Channels Want to Partner With Inflow Technologies

Inflow Technologies’ tie up with 39 vendor companies, an extensive tech portfolio, and a services play, are great value propositions for enterprise channels, says its President and CEO, Byju Pillai.

iValue Creates Real Value for Channels in India

Focused on niche vendor alliances around data, network and app management backed by a robust channel ecosystem marked iValue's success in 2014. What clicked for the seven-year-old VAD?

RAH Infotech Shows Channels the Way Ahead

Mutual trust and long lasting bond with vendor companies and channel partners helps VADs to evolve and succeed in today’s aggressively competitive market. Leveraging competent channel partners and forge niche vendor alliances marks RAH Infotech’s success in 2014.

How Satcom Infotech is Adapting to New Security Landscape

As a leading value added distributor, Satcom Infotech is emerging as an end-to-end security player, helping both customers and partners grow.

How ComGuard Shields Channel Partners

As emerging technologies introduce new threats to the enterprise landscape, they are making channel partners anxious. But VADs like ComGuard are putting their worries to rest. Here's how.

Tech Chat

Collaborating To Outcome Based World: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Avaya, on how IT is transitioning from a keep-the-lights-on role to one that enables customers to deliver results.

The Dawn of the Digital Age: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

The development of digital infrastructure will be a key growth driver for technology and solution providers. 

Paradigm Shift from End-Users to User-First : Parag Arora,Citrix

Parag Arora, Area Vice President and India Head, India Sub-continent, Citrix, says new technologies will force organizations to take a user-first approach in 2015.

Mobile and Cloud Are Gamechangers of the Future: Karan Bajwa, Microsoft

Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Microsoft India, says, in  2015, organizations will adopt a mobile-first and cloud-first strategy to get ahead of competition.

A Network for the Internet of Everything : Dinesh Malkani,Cisco

Dinesh Malkani, President, India and SAARC, Cisco, talks about IoT and the significant technology transitions in the networking world.

Moving to the Third Platform: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Cloud and mobility are the two technologies that will fuel the rapid adoption of the third platform in India.

Envisaging a Holistic Security Strategy For 2015: Sanjay Rohatgi,Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi, President–Sales, Symantec India, says the company has a set of holistic solutions in place to secure organizations from security threats. 

Beating the Bad Guys: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Organizations will need to turn inwards to establish robust information security strategies.

Building Capabilities for a Digital Tomorrow: Alok Ohrie,Dell

Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell India, on the company’s investments to build end-to-end solutions and delivery capabilities for a digital world.

FAST TRACK

Kamtron Systems

Transitioning towards a service-oriented company will boost our growth, believes Kavita Singhal, director, Kamtron Systems.

TIM Infratech

Delivering ‘best of breed’ technologies to enterprises is key to success, says Monish Chhabria, MD, TIM Infratech

Mudra Electronics

A vendor-agnostic strategy helped us sustain business, says Bharat Shetty, CMD, Mudra Electronics.

Systematix Technologies

Our USP is a customer-friendly approach backed by services, says Akhilesh Khandelwal, Director, Systematix Technologies.

CorporateServe Solutions

Our ability to turnaround complex ERP projects in record time is what gets us customer referral, says Vinay Vohra, Founder & CEO, CorporateServe Solutions.

KernelSphere Technologies

We are emerging as an end-to-end systems integrator, says Vinod Kumar, MD, KernelSphere Technologies.

Uniware Systems

We constantly validate emerging technologies for first-mover advantage, says Vergis K.R., CEO, Uniware Systems.

Astek Networking & Solutions

An innovative approach helps us stay successful, says Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Astek Networking & Solutions.

CSM Technologies

Our approach is backed by innovation and simplicity, says Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, CEO, CSM Technologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.