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Motorola Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Mobile Phone
Posted: 06-Mar-2003 [Source: Motorola]

[We've come a long way in 20 years...]

New York -- Motorola will commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the world's first commercial portable cellular phone, unveiled by the company in 1983, with the MOBILE Exhibition -- a visual history of the mobile phone, a technological marvel that has transformed our world. In 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X phone was the first portable cellular phone to receive FCC type acceptance and become available for consumer purchase just a few months later -- igniting a frenzy of growth and consumer demand for personal wireless communication. The revolutionary DynaTAC 8000X phone will be on display at the MOBILE Exhibition in New York for the next two weeks, along with early prototypes, various mobile handsets, marketing pieces and narratives on mobile phone culture from the last twenty years which showcase the evolution of the industry.

Motorola's rich wireless heritage grew from the company's creation of the world's first practical, affordable and commercially successful car radio in 1930 and later that decade, the company's first commercial two-way radio systems. In the 1940s and 50s, Motorola applied advances in radio technology to introduce its first pager, its first car radiotelephone and radio transponders, including the radio transponder used by Astronaut Neil Armstrong to speak his famous first words from the moon in 1969. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, Motorola developed a handheld communication device intended for mass consumer use -- the cellular phone. By the time the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X phone became the first FCC-approved portable cellular telephone in 1983, the company had invested fifteen years of research and $100 million in the advancement of cellular technology. The DynaTAC 8000X phone weighed 28 ounces, was 13 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches in dimension, boasted one hour of talk time and eight hours of standby time and featured a LED display.

"Consumers were so impressed by the concept of being always accessible with a portable phone that waiting lists for the DynaTAC 8000X were in the thousands, despite the initial $3,995 retail price," recalled Rudy Krolopp, one of the original Motorola design team members responsible for creating the DynaTAC 8000X phone. "In 1983, the notion of simply making wireless phone calls was revolutionary and it was an exciting time to be pioneering the technology at Motorola."

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