History of Cell Phones

Happy Birthday, Cell Phone! 40 Years of Mobile Evolution

History of Cell Phones

On this day in 1973, Motorola engineer Marty Cooper made the first call from a "real handheld portable cell phone," a point he made very clear during that historic conversation with Joel Engel, the head of rival research firm Bell Labs.

Since that fateful phone call, mobile phones have evolved dramatically. Those magical portable technology boxes have become an essential part of interpersonal communication, and their significance will only increase with time. From the rise of SMS to anywhere, anytime Internet connectivity to mobile photography, cell phones have been the catalyst for cultural and technological changes over the past 40 years.

In honor of our most essential gadget's over-the-hill birthday, relive the defining moments and trends of the mobile era in the gallery.

Source: Getty