Motorola marks 45 years of mobile phone calls

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Motorola marks 45 years of mobile phones
The first call from a mobile phone was made on April 3, 1973.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tuesday marks 45 years of connections for mobile devices; on April 3, 1973 a Motorola Corporation employee made the first mobile call.

Ask just about anyone to name the one accessory they couldn't live without, and more than likely they'll say their cell phones. They're used for photos, to play music and games, send emails, download maps, watch video clips and send text messages.

But in 1973, mobile phones were still science experiments.

Chicago-based Motorola pioneered the technology, and 45 years ago an employee made the first call on a phone like the DyanTAC.

The DynaTAC hit the market in 1983. It weighed 2 lbs., measured about 13 inches and retailed for just under $4,000. You had to charge it for 10 hours to talk for 30 minutes, and it could hold up to 30 contacts.

Kelly Wilkie, with Motorola, said the company wants their phones to keep evolving with the needs of their users.

"Since we are all living a mobile lifestyle, often people don't need to bring a laptop with them anymore. You can do everything on your phone, for business purposes or personal and leisure," Wilkie said.

While cell phone users look forward to new, innovative devices, it's hard to look back on a time when there were no cell phones at all. Since that first call 45 years ago, current estimates show close to 5 billion people worldwide who use cell phones.