World's first smartphone celebrates 20th anniversary
August 16 , 2014
The world’s first smartphone, the IBM Simon, which combined a variety of features of a computer with a mobile phone, went on sale on 16th August 1994. To celebrate its 20th anniversary the London Science Museum is including the phone in its gallery on the “Information Age”.
Curator Charlotte Connelly said the exhibition will begin this October and display over 800 objects that trace the history of communication over the past 200 years. It will be the first permanent exhibition in the UK to showcase the history of communication and Information Technology.
The IBM Simon cost $899, weighed 500g, and had a short battery life of just one hour. Its features included a calendar, e-mail, text messaging, and a stylus to record notes, apart from all the features of a mobile phone of its time. It could be connected to a fax machine to send messages since there was no mobile internet service at the time. It was popular among business travelers and sold about 50,000 units in the US, where it was available across 15 states. However, it was replaced by newer models about two years after its launch.