Facts About The Cell Phone Inventor: Martin Cooper

Info about the cell phone inventor Martin Cooper. His education, age, wife, children, networth, first call and what inspired him to invent the first mobile phone in the world.

We use our mobile devices on a daily basis, but not everyone knows much about the person that created the cell phone.

The Man That Created The Mobile Phone

While there are plenty of different people that made significant advances in mobile technology, one person is credited as the inventor of the cell phone: Doctor Martin Cooper.

He created this invention while he was working for Motorola.

At the time of the cell phone's invention, there were many other people that were trying to create a similar type of mobile device. If Cooper had not invented the cell phone, it's likely that someone else would have made the discovery at one point or another. The demand for mobile devices was very high.

Martin Cooper

Can you imagine living without your cell phone? It’s one of your most crucial possessions, allowing you to instantly connect to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Your cell phone provides a multitude of services, from being able to instantly message (or even speak with) anyone, at any time, to immediate access to the internet. In fact, you might even be reading this on your phone right now!

cell phone inventor
Martin Cooper (The Inventor Of Cell Phone)

It hasn’t always been this easy. Whilst modern cell phones are packaged with everything you need for wireless internet access, gaming, and video calls, earlier systems provided only the bare minimum: the ability to make phone calls.
So who made the very first cell phone, and why?

The Inventor Of Cell Phone: A Modern Day Hero

The father of the cellular phone, Martin Cooper, was born in Chicago on the 26th of December, 1928.

He was an incredibly talented and smart individual, graduating from Illinois Institute of Technology in the early ’50s with both a B.S.E.E and an M.S.E.E.

In 1973, then 45-year-old Cooper made a groundbreaking invention: the cell phone. Whilst working with Motorola in the ’70s, the talented engineer led a creative team of individuals to develop the very first mobile telephone, an invention that would go on to change the world.

Why did martin cooper invented the phone?

Inspired by the sci-fi genre and shows like Star Trek, this futuristic creation had the potential for a massive improvement on the historical landline communications system introduced by Alexander Graham Bell.

Cooper used to marvel at the concept of Captain Kirk using his portable communicator and used his natural intrigue to develop the very first cellular phone concept. It only took his team 90 days, which is an impressive feat in itself.

What is martin cooper worth?

Throughout his illustrious career, Cooper has been awarded multiple patents for his work across the electronics industry, culminating in his enormous net worth of $600 million. Although he has lived an incredibly successful life, which had undoubtedly kept him busy, Cooper married his business partner and co-founder of Cellular Business Systems, Arlene Harris, in 1991.

Now comfortably retired, aged 90 (with his 91st fast approaching in December!), Cooper can finally settle down with his wife and two children.

First Cellular Phone Call

On April 3rd, 1973, the much younger Cooper stood on a street in New York to make the very first cellular phone call.

His device looked nothing like what we’re used to now - it was 10 inches long and weighed more than 2 pounds, though it was a massive success.

He made a phone call to his larger rival engineering company, Bell Labs, and the world was changed for the better.

Who Is The Father Of Smartphone?

Whilst it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who created the very first smartphone, credit is usually attributed to Andy Rubin. Commonly referred to as the father of the smartphone, Rubin created and developed the very first Android system - years before it became relevant as the brand we know and love today.

The telecommunications market has evolved massively since the Brick was used to make the first phone call, with most users preferring the power of a smartphone over the now-archaic designs of days gone.

Smartphones are defined by their ability to function in similar ways to a computer, and some are arguably just as powerful.

Android is now used in 80% of the world’s smartphones, which is a staggering number when you consider that there are close to 9 billion active phone connections worldwide.

After Google acquired Rubin’s startup in 2005 for $50 million, the world caught on to the many uses of smartphones, which have been consistently and continuously developing and improving over the years.

First Mobile Phone In The World

The first mobile phone in the world is Motorola DynaTac 8000X.

Motorola DynaTac 8000X the first mobile phone in the world
Motorola DynaTac 8000X

From the moment we wake up to when we go to bed, we have our phones in our hands. It would be the understatement of the century to say that our generation is addicted to these smartphones that are making us a little ‘less smart’. We text. We call. We stalk. We calculate. We take pictures. We send stories. We find mates. We break-up. Anything and everything can be done through our phones.

But do we know where they came from?

If I stopped you midway now and asked which was the first mobile phone, would you be able to answer? Okay, forget it, the place it was made or the company? Well, let's dive in and find out some interesting facts about the first mobile phone - the great great great great ….great grandfather to the iPhone11!

Bell Labs and Motorola companies were in serious competition to manufacture telephone devices that could be used while being mobile i.e. without the standard cord attached to it. And as the name of the first mobile phone suggests, Motorola won the tech war when they introduced the first commercially manufactured mobile phone. It was named as DynaTac 8000X by Motorola. Martin Cooper was the engineer who made the historic first phone call to his rival to brag about his achievement on a crisp spring morning in 1973. The first prototype (Dynamic Adaptive Total Coverage) developed by Cooper weighed more than 1 kg.

Motorola management saw huge potential with the concept developed by Cooper. They blindly put forward an upfront investment of 100 million dollars in the next 20 years into research and development.

Cost $4000 For One!

Yes, the first commercial mobile phone was launched in 1983 by Motorola for around $4000 US dollars. I bet Cooper never thought that the legacy would reach smartphones that have touchscreens and voice recognition assistants responding to our questions. Right, Siri?!

First Mobile Phone In India

India is one of the leading third world countries with multinational telecommunication companies today. However, a quarter of a century ago that wasn’t the case. Many households in India didn’t even have a landline phone. Let’s just say that India has come a long way since the 1990s.

In the early 1990s, the government of India sanctioned eight different companies to provide cellular services. The most important one among them being an Indo-Australian collaboration named - Modi Telstra.

They achieved the key milestone making the first cellular call possible using their MobileNet service. The historic call was made in 1995 between Kolkata and Delhi - approximately 1500kms, between the UN Telecom minister and the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

First Mobile Network

So the first mobile phone was made in America but where was the first 1G mobile network established? Well, literally in the other corner of the world - Japan.

Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Company or NTT for short introduced the first commercial network to the world. These were mainly based inside cars that used a network with 88 cell sites that were dependent on the radio stations around Tokyo.

This commercial network was launched in December 1979 and was automated which meant that a switchboard operator was not required to make these calls possible.

Norway, Sweden and Finland were the first countries from Europe to create their cellular networks. The network was based on the Nordic Telephone standard. Soon enough, other countries around the world joined the bandwagon namely Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other Asian countries.

1G came with heavy hardware and prices. They were not designed initially for personal use and were owned only businesses. I assume they were used more as a symbol of money than for communication.

The technology as you can guess had the limitations of coverage, security and of course terrible sound quality.

Evolution Of Mobile Phones

Look At The Ways That The Cell Phone Has Developed

Technically speaking, mobile devices have been around for a long time.

People were using cell phones all the way back in the 1980s! However, cellular devices didn't explode in popularity until around the year 2000. Once smartphone technology became ubiquitous a few years later, the cell phone became an essential device.

It was in the early 1990S that Finland introduced the Groupe Special Mobile or later called the Global System for Mobile Communications i.e. the first 2G network. The network was able to provide internet access using General Packet Radio Service.

The emerging telecom tycoon Nokia launched straight into the business during these days and introduced the classic Nokia 5110 which completely took over the telephone market.

Then came the age of ‘camera phones’. The initial phones had an only 0.3-megapixel camera and were released in the Asian market i.e. South Korea.

Bluetooth or WiFi hadn’t been introduced yet to the world so the sole purpose of this feature was to store pictures. It was the first feature to be added to the novel devices that were not directly related to communication.

The age of fast networking began around 2000 when Bluetooth and WiFi were introduced into the scene.

Bluetooth was initially used to transmit photos, songs or other media files between Bluetooth enabled devices. It is a shocking fact that it is still being used across multiple devices still e.g. Bluetooth enabled Apple iPods. I guess, some things never go out of trend.

Who can forget the iconic Blackberry phones?

Well, let’s just say that Blackberry phones were once the equivalent of having iPhone 11 right now. Their incredible email integration was the unique selling point that made them the favorites of corporate businesses. However, they suffered greatly when the iPhone released their ‘smartphones’.

Android was kind of there before the iPhones but had to be revamped when iPhones were released with the mesmerizing technology of ‘touchscreens’. Google always knew that Android would be one of the leading technologies in the future and bought it in 2005. Most of the smartphones these days run using Android.

The 3G network was first launched in Japan and for consumers who had faster data service needs. It was slowly becoming a business for laymen consumers than business corporations. 2008 was the year when 3G came to India and finally made the dream of having broadband at home practical. Depending on the location and network type, the speed of the connection varied across the country.

How can we end this topic without talking about iPhones?

The most disruptive technology in the recent decade was undoubtedly iPhones. They launched their first device in 2007 with touchscreen technology, a good quality camera, and 3G network capabilities.

Since then, the company has ensured to bring in the latest technology advancements and kept its competitors on their toes. They introduced face recognition screen lock, voice recognition assistant Siri to interact with the customers and many other features.

Mobile phone technology and networks have come a long way in the last 25 years and more features including cognitive technology are yet to be introduced by the leading telecommunication companies in the coming years. It is a very promising ad competitive field, to say the least!

When you're learning more about your mobile device, you shouldn't focus all of your attention on its initial creation. Even though Martin Cooper was the man that initially invented the cell phone, there are a lot of other inventors that made important strides as well.

The Other People That Played A Crucial Role In The Cell Phone's Creation

Even though people generally credit a single person with inventing the cell phone, it's important to remember that there are some other people that also played a role in this process. For example, Joel Engel, the main rival of Cooper, is considered to be an important figure.

There are some other people you'll want to look into as well, such as Alexander Graham Bell, the man that invented the telephone! No one would have been able to invent mobile devices without his work.

Keep Your Eyes On The Future

The cell phones that people are using today may seem like they're cutting edge. However, it's likely that mobile devices are going to go through even more changes going forward. That's why it's a good idea to look at some of the new advances that are likely to appear in the next through years.

From slimmer phones to new types of battery to phones with impressive security features, there are a lot of exciting advances that are on the way. Look towards the future so that you can see what's coming next.

Take the time to learn as much as you can about the cell phone inventor. If you take a look at the history of cellular devices, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for your own phone. Whenever you use your phone, you'll be able to think about the rich history behind it.


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