Have you ever wondered why cell phones are called cell phones? I had not given it much thought, but one day this week someone asked me about this. Although I was pretty certain I knew the correct answer, I asked them to let me check my facts and get back to them.
I knew the term cell had to do with the cell towers that send data to the portable phones. The dictionary definition of cell phone is:
“noun. 1. a mobile telephone system using low-powered radio transmitters, with each transmitter covering a distinct geographical area (cell) and computer equipment to switch a call from one area to another, thus enabling large-scale car or portable phone service. 2. … Also called cell· phone·, cellular telephone.”
When cell phones first arrived on the market, more often that not they were referred to as Mobile Phones, over time the names by which we refer to our mobile devices have morphed into Cell Phone and Smart Phone. For all intents and purposes, smart phones are a computer we can carry in our pocket. These days the phone part is often the last thing people use their phones for. Texting, photos, google searches, Facebook, Twitter and SnapChat and Instagram are what most phones are primarily used for.
Cell phones were first developed by Motorola. They were available as early as 1973, but I remember them actually being used in the mid 1980’s They were big and cumbersome. Their range was poor and they could only hold a charge for a short period of time.
The cell phones I remember the best came in to play in the 2000’s but I remember there were some pretty big ones before the advent of the flip phones, they were much better than the cumbersome cell phones of the 80’s, but still bigger and less powerful than what we now have:
I could go on and on pontificating about the evolution of the cell phone. But that’s a discussion for another blog post. Today, we have solved the mystery of the term cell phone. Have we not?
Come back and see us again for more fascinating information about cell phones and computers.
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