First ‘mobile’ phones were a lot of junk in the trunk


The first mobile phones were car phones. Call quality was superb (if you could get a channel).
The first mobile phones were car phones. Call quality was superb (if you could get a channel).
Photo courtesy Geoff Fors

When Lars Magnus Ericsson installed a telephone in his car, he proved you could communicate from the road. But while the first mobile phone was indeed mobile, it was anything but simple to use.

Ericsson drove around Sweden and, when it was time to place a call, he would pull off to the side of the road next to telephone poles. Then his wife, Hilda, would take out two long sticks and hook them over a pair of telephone wires. Ericsson would then crank a handle on the phone to get a signal from the operator.

Pretty slick for 1910.

Touch Tablet On Track to be Fastest-Spreading Technology in History


The publication MIT Technology Review compares major consumer technologies, from the telephone and television to the mobile phone and tablet. Their conclusion is that mobile phones have gone “mainstream” faster than any other major technology in history, achieving this status in just 20 years.

They also break down speed of acceptance in stages, which makes for interesting comparison. For example, it took landline telephones about 45 years go to from 5% penetration in the United States to 50%, compared with just 7 years for mobile phones.

What’s most surprising about the report is that touch tablets are actually spreading way faster than even cell phones. And this fact is more interesting still when you consider that one company, Apple, is almost solely responsible for this growth, and one product, the iPad, pretty much is the touch-tablet market.

Read the whole report here.

Samsung Ousts Apple And Nokia For Top Spot In Total Mobile Phone and Smartphone Shipments


According to the latest report from the International Data Corporation, Samsung has ousted both Apple and Nokia to aquire the top spot in both smartphone and total mobile phone shipments for the first quarter of 2012. This marks the first time since the inception of IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker that Nokia did not lead the global market in total mobile phone shipments. That’s quite a testament to Samsung’s tremendous growth over the past year, which according to the IDC, was nearly triple in the smartphone category.