World’s First ‘Smartphone’ is 20 Years old

Bound for the London’s Science Museum’s new Information Age exhibition, the world’s first smartphone, the IBM Simon, turned 20 on Saturday the 16th. Just look at this irresistible model…

Costing about the same as the newest top devices, the IBM Simon was an amazing product in its day. Weighing in at half a kilogram and getting about an hours battery, by today’s standard we would render this the ultimate ‘brick’, to use current terminology. The device launched in 1994 just a couple years after the World Wide Web and well before the widespread use of the internet. Let that sink in… no Google, no Youtube, no Facebook, no Twitter… 90% off the things you currently use your smartphone for, this would never have seen.

Museum curator Charlotte Connelly had this to say; “The Simon wasn’t called a smartphone back then. But it had a lot of the features we see today. It had a calendar; it could take notes and send emails and messages and combined all of this with a cell phone, including a slot in the bottom to insert different applications, such as mapping ones, spreadsheets and games. So it really was a forerunner to the iPhone.”

Its amazing to see how far we have come and to look back on origins of what makes up a massive chunk of our current lives. Where do you think we’ll be in the next 20 years? If you’ve ever seen or even used one of these first hand, we’d love to hear from you!

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