Motorola DynaTAC: World’s First Portable Cell Phone Turns 25

The world’s first truly portable cell phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, was launched 25 years ago after receiving U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval back in 1983. The original “brick” weighed in at 28 ounces, which is staggering compared to today’s average handset weight of only 3-5 ounces.

Motorola was the first company to get FCC approval and was therefore first to market after 15 years of research at a cost of $100 million. It certainly paid off, even though the company is failing to perform as of late.

The very first commercial cellular call was made on October 13, 1983 on the Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage (DynaTAC) brick at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Appropriately, this first call was made by Bob Barnett, president of Ameritech Mobile (now part of Verizon Wireless) to Alexander Graham Bell’s grandson.

The DynaTAC’s dimensions were 13 x 1.75 x 3.5-inches and yet could only achieve 30 minutes of talk time. Standby time wouldn’t even get you through the day at just 8 hours. You can see a 1983-2008 timeline presentation of Motorola’s progression and innovation at their 25th Anniversary commemoration page.

Via: The Inquirer

Comments (2 Responses):

I have seen that there was a rumor they remade the dynatec phone in china and they are selling them retail with a full color screen anyone know where we could get one online to use on gsm? [email protected]

I have done a bit of poking around, but unfortunately couldn’t find the re-made model for sale. I had heard the rumor also, but maybe it was a limited edition run. Some blogs are pointing to Eprice, but I couldn’t find it anywhere on their site.

If anyone’s interested, I did uncover a site called Retro Brick where you can get the original DynaTAC both used and brand new in the original packaging. They’re more collectors items than usable handsets though as they require an analog network.

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