40 years of DynaTAC: how Motorola made the history of the telephone

motorola dynatac 8000x

40 years have passed since the launch of the first mobile phone in history - I'm talking about the historian Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which made its debut on the shelves in 1983, marking the history of technology forever. It all began in 1947, when the transistor was invented in the Bell Labs laboratories, setting off a series of evolutions that would change human civilization. Inside those studios in the United States, the first works began for the creation of a phone that could be carried with you, and it was Motorola that took the reins.

Motorola DynaTAC 8000x celebrates 40 years: we retrace the history of the first mobile phone in history

Among the members who made up the team that Motorola had assembled to achieve such an ambitious goal was there Martin cooper, which in 1973 finalized the first mobile phone prototype. The debut should have taken place three years later, only to be postponed to 1983 due to various delays in development and the necessary certifications. The result was a product, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, that aimed to revolutionize the way people communicate around the world. Of course, it weighed 800 grams, was 25 cm long and as thick as a brick (which became its nickname), had a bulky antenna necessary to connect to the (now defunct) AMPS networks, a battery that lasted only 30 minutes on calls and then it took hours to recharge and a directory with only 30 contacts.

Despite all these limitations, it revolutionized an era in which the only way to carry a telephone was to have it in the car or in heavy and uncomfortable briefcases. Motorola proposed DynaTAC 8000x at a cost of $60/100 per month, anticipating today's subscriptions, or at a total price of $3.995, today's equivalent of over $11.000. Despite the decidedly prohibitive figure, 300.000 units were sold, which in the space of 7 years rose to one million with subsequent variants (Classic, International, 6000XL, etc.).

From its leadership position, in the 90s it was Nokia that inherited the scepter, to which in the 2000s the various Samsung, LG, Sony and finally Apple and Android were added with the advent of smartphones. The DynaTAC series was then followed by the more accessible series MicroCT e StarTAC, the latter one of the very first flip phones in history, a form factor that would later be consecrated by Motorola with its iconic series RAZR, today declined in the form of a leaflet in a historical period in which, however, smartphones no longer sell like they used to.

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