Simon – The First Smartphone


When we think of the fist smartphone, it would be reasonable to assume Blackberry holds that position, and you would be incorrect in that assumption. The first smartphone was called the Simon Personal Communicator, and it was created by IBM 10 years before Blackberry hit the streets.

IBM’s Simon was the first phone to meld together the functions of a cell phone and a PDA, and it launched with the price tag of $899 with a service contract according to Byte Magazine.

The Simon was far ahead of its time. The smartphone featured a monochrome LCD touchscreen measuring 4.5 inches by 1.4 inches, and it came with a stylus.

Aside from its calling capabilities, you could also use the Simon to send and receive emails, faxes, and pages. There were also a suite of built-in features including a notes collection you could write in, an address book that looked like file folder, calendar, world clock, and a way to schedule appointments.

The big downsides to the Simon was that its battery only lasted an hour and if you wanted to install a third-party app, you needed to erase existing functions to free up enough memory to run them.

While the Simon would never achieve the widespread acclaim of the Blackberry, iPhone or Android phones, IBM did manage to sell approximately 50,000 units, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The smartphone was instrumental in transforming how people work and communicate. From checking emails to utilizing one of the millions of apps, the smartphone has made many aspects of our lives easy and convenient.

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