For any of us that use a mobile phone or tablet (all of us), it is true that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Much of present-day technology is an elaboration and expansion upon the incredible inventions of the past. We couldn’t and wouldn’t be where we are today without the movers and shakers of yesterday. That being said, let’s take a lighthearted look at the historical milestones that have shaped our modern, mobile-minded world:

(1876) Alexander Graham Bell: The Phone Father


Say hello to my little phone. While there is plenty of controversy surrounding who actually invented the electric telephone (was is Charles Bourseul, Antonio Meucci, Elisha Gray, Johann Philipp Reis?), we typically credit Alexander Graham Bell as the father of the phone. He was the first to paten the telephone as an “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically” and in 1876 completed the first successful electric telephone transmission of a complete sentence. This laid the foundation for the future of communication technology, and subsequently, the mobile phone. Without this throwback milestone, we might not know the power of mobile connectedness and communication the way we do today.

(1947) The First Mobile Workforce


Staying in touch with your coworkers now easier than ever!

When the Pennsylvania Railroad rolled out this easy, breezy “Carryphone” in 1947, it marked the first time engineers and trainmen could keep in real-time contact while out in the field. If you think you feel tethered to your phone now, imagine lugging around this beast all day! Note: please take a moment to pause and tell your iPhone how thankful you are for every six of its tiny square inches…

Photo Source: Popular Science, May 1947 Issue, Page 246

(1984) Saved By The Cell 


On March 13, 1984, the first commercially available hand-held cell phone was purchased for $3995. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000x was affectionately nicknamed, “The Brick”, as it measured 13 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches and weighed 28 ounces. It was different from its “mobile phone” and “cell phone” predecessors in that it was actually mobile. Until then, “mobile phone” and “cell phone” referred to a car phone. By the 1990’s a strong cell phone market began to emerge with the second generation of phones. Cell phones were becoming more practical as costs decreased and market competition increased.

Photo source:

(2007) iChangedTheWorld


We are going to casually scroll past the fifty or so significant milestones in mobile technology between the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x and the iPhone with the swipe of our finger—let’s cut to the chase! On June 29th 2007, Apple released the groundbreaking original iPhone and the world was forever changed. This 2G-touchscreen miracle featured a “breakthrough Internet communicator”, iPod functionality and quad-band GSM cellular connectivity

The original iPhone marks the beginning of the end of the 9-5 job, as frequent and consistent technological advances made it easy for work to be accessed and completed anytime, anywhere.

Fun fact: On that very day, Roambi’s then-retired co founder and CEO followed the buzz to his local Apple store. The long line wrapping around the building intrigued him so he decided to join the fun and get an iPhone, too. While waiting in line on that fateful day, he had the crazy idea that this new device had the power to transform the way we consume and visualize data. And well, the rest is history…

As advances in mobile tech continue at warp speed, it can be fun and refreshing to take a walk down memory lane and revisit the mobile milestones that got us here today. There are hundreds of noteworthy moments to touch upon, but chose these four to feature in this special Throwback Thursday post. Please share your additional favorite mobile milestones in the comments below.