Business, Economics and Jobs

The cellphone turns 40 (VIDEO)


Cellphone inventor Martin Cooper accepts his award onstage during the 15th Annual Webby Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 13, 2011, in New York City.


Jamie McCarthy

The first cellphone call was made 40 years ago today on April 3, 1973.

Standing in midtown Manhattan, Motorola senior engineer Martin Cooper called his rival Joel Engel at AT&T and announced:

"I'm calling you from a cellphone, a real handheld portable cellphone."

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Cooper, now 85, made the historic call on his Motorola DynaTAC 8000x — a brick at 10 inches long and 2.5 pounds compared to today's standards, but a revelation to the 1970s telecommunications industry.

The phone was inspired by Captain Kirk's famous flip-top communicator from "Star Trek."

It was made up of 30 circuit boards, had a talk-time of 35 minutes and took 10 hours to charge, according to The Guardian.

But it was mobile, and that made all the difference in the business world.

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"We built the phone to prove to the world that you didn't have to have a monopoly running the business, you didn't have to have those resources to make cellular a reality," Cooper told The Verge in an interview last year.

Today, he helps run the tech firm Dyna LLC and works as a telecommunications adviser.

Cellphones are now an integral part of everyday life.

Currently, there are an estimated 6 billion cellphone subscribers worldwide, according to the United Nations, and the number of devices is expected to exceed 70 billion in the next 40 years, technology expert Mike Short told The Guardian.