Cell evolution

By Liliana Castilla, Freedom New Mexico

Al Noblett began selling cell phones when they were simply phones.

In
1987, Noblett got his first job in sales with Radio Shack and was
charged with selling the first cell phone, the Pocket Phone.

“It
was a pocket phone if you’re Captain Kangaroo,” Noblett said,
referencing an cartoon character in the 1980s with coat pockets the
size of a kangaroo’s pouch.

When cell phones first came out, Noblett recounted, they were a backup and a luxury.

“Few
people could afford them and even if they had the phone, the service
was so expensive, they kept their use down to a minimum,” he said.

The cell phone’s evolution into the multimedia, life-containing objects they are today, changed the way people use them.

“I don’t have a home phone anymore,” Noblett said. “My wife and I just have cell phones.”

But the public can only blame itself for how the cell phone has become an integral part of daily life, he said.

“The
public demanded that the cell phone include a PDA, a to-do list, a
notepad, a camera and a music player,” Noblett said. “It’s become about
convenience.”

But holding all that information in one place
can be dangerous if the phone is lost or broken, Teresa Tapia of
Portales said. She has everyone she knows listed in her cell phone.

“All
of my family, friends, work and co-worker’s information is in my
phone,” Tapia said. “It would be a bad surprise to suddenly lose all
that information. I can’t even imagine what I would do to get all those
numbers back.”

Tapia said she has more than 40 numbers and names listed in her cell phone which she doesn’t have recorded anywhere else.

“I
do not have a house phone, just my cell phone, so losing all of those
numbers would be bad,” Tapia. “I would do all I could to get another
one as soon as possible, if I lost my cell phone.”

1956 – The first real car
phones come into play
accross the United States.
The units are big and bulky,
and require a personal radio
operator to switch the calls.

1988 – One of the most
important years in cell phone
evolution. The Cellular
Technology Industry
Association is created and
helps to make the industry
into an empire.


1991
– CTIA created
TCDMA phone technology,
the most evolved cell phone
yet, is released to the public.

1997-1998 – First camera
phones

2003 – PDA’s incorporated
into phones

Source: Al Noblett, Radio Shack
manager