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The Changing Face Of The Mobile Phone

Updated on December 8, 2012

What was your first cell phone like?

Do you remember the first mobile phone you ever got. I can. It was a brick of a phone from one of the early phone shops called Peoplesphone. I think I remember them being bought out by Vodafone. This was around 1990 If I remember it correctly. How the industry has moved on since then.

If you look at the picture of the phone below you will see my first mobile phone. Talk about a brick or what.

All you could do with it was make calls. Text probably hadn't been invented then or if it had, I didn't know anyone with a phone to be able to text them.

Where would we be without SMS now?


My first mobile phone


Do you have a picture of your first phone?

I bet you do.

Or if you don't have a picture you would probably remember the make and model. I would love it if you could send me your pictures and I may incorporate them in another article on this subject.

Judging by the response I had from the earlier article

Mobile Phones and what life was like before them it should be a winner.

Send your pictures to and I will try to include it in a future hub in the series for the 30/30 Hub Challenge.

See the difference already in phone design

If you look at the first and second mobile phone pictures you will see even in a short space of time how much the design and size changed. As soon as one design is launched another surpasses it. Today is no exception, only it is the same company now, who launches a phone model, then immediately upgrades it with newer features and applications. This is the way companies today keep re-inventing themselves, by bringing out regular launches to their already successful products.Customers then must have the newer, better version and this is what generates the profits for the manufacturer .Apple are grandmasters at this.

Hub 9 in the 30/30 Hub Challenge


My second mobile phone

3rd mobile phone


Get the picture?

I think you do. Design innovation and styling was established very quickly and it is evident to see this from the pictures I have included. The mobile phone to this day still has a changing face and will continue to do so.Designs change at an alarming rate.

Although you can't compare the sizes in the pictures they are in size order, the third phone actually being the smallest.I remember the third one came with interchangeable key pads,blue, red and yellow. What a selling point that must have been.

Anyway, you get the idea, so I am not going to show anymore of my mobile phone models. I am interested in your's though. So remember to e-mail your photos to me.

The cell phone does indeed have a changing face and will continue to do so for many years to come

Best selling phones of the 1990's

The best selling early phone manufacturers were probably Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. Each selling over 2million units in the early nineties to up to 60million units by the late 1990's. If this doesn't show the potential of the repeat business companies can get by introducing updates of their best selling phones, I don't know what will.

If you think about it, there must be more mobile phones on the planet than people.

Current thinking is that there are around 6billion cell phone subscribers around the globe. Many of these people, if they are like me, will have around three phones at home, so there could be up to 20billion or more on the planet. That is a lot of recycling of alkaline batteries that needs to be done. Maybe scope for another article me thinks one day.

Best sellers of 2012

If you would like to see which phones are likely to be top sellers in 2012 click on the link

Start planning your cell phone change now for 2012 and watch the face of your cell phone change again and again and again.



Submit a Comment

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire


    I seem to remember they cost an arm and a leg also!

  • Docmo profile image

    Mohan Kumar 

    6 years ago from UK

    Ah I remember my first big brick. It tore a hole in my suit jacket nearly and gave me wrist strain. But oh how cool I felt. Held slanted, taking a call, resting the brick on the crook of my shoulder! You are right about how far they've come Steve! Nice bit of nostalgia.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Vellur, you are not wrong. It is amazing how technology has changed the size of the phone and what they can now do.

  • Vellur profile image

    Nithya Venkat 

    6 years ago from Dubai

    Very interesting and informative. Mobile phones were really huge and had no appeal in the very beginnning. Nowadays each mobile phone is a work of art and technology!!!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I didn't get my first cell phone until 2003 so it didn't look quite as retro as the 90s phones. It's still amazing how much the technology has changed even in the last 3 years, let alone the last 10-15 years.

  • Dave Mathews profile image

    Dave Mathews 

    6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

    poshcoffee: I do remember it. as long as it did what I needed it for, I was pleased. I needed emergency communication incase I broke down with my car. I owned it and never used it.

  • Drtruthman profile image


    6 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

    Great article Steve. I had a clunky "bag phone" you actually could use in or out of the car but it was awkward. Actually I loved it cause it was analog and not digital and the quality was unbelievable and you could FAX from it. Pretty wild. I voted UP, useful, awesome and interesting.

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 

    6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    I remember in the late 1980's or early 90's my dad had a cell phone. It was a huge setup and came in a bag and had cords attached to it. I thought it was the coolest thing! Great article! My how cell phones have changed! I'll try to see if I can find some old ones at my parent's house. If I do, I'll send you the photos. Voted up!


  • Ardie profile image


    6 years ago from Neverland

    I remember my first cell phone. It was much like the first picture you share :) and then here I sit on my Android commenting on a Hub. I love it Steve! Great hubbing.

  • tammyswallow profile image


    6 years ago from North Carolina

    I had a super, chunky car phone in the 90's. My first cell phone was an old flip phone from Alltel. It is amazing when you see the the differences from then and now. Great idea and hub!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    I DO remember. It was a Nokia. Amazing changes!I heard that a phone paper thin is what's next.


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