Dieter Bohn, formerly from The Verge, captured an era for nerds like me in a way that I could never do. Do you remember your first phone? My 24-year old daughter had a slider phone when she was at home which evolved to an iPhone. Most people in their early 20’s and younger only remember iPhone and Android. They live in a world exclusively of smartphones.
If you’re old like me, you have lots of memories of the evolution of phones. I remember when my friend Sam and I started our first agency. We went to Sam’s Club and got two tiny pebble phones from a service called “Voice Stream”. I called him in the car on the way home. It was my first mobile to mobile call. So cool. Voicestream eventually was bought by Cingular, which became AT&T. My phone evolved to the ever-popular Nextel. Everyone had this phone and it was cool. Why? Because you could make calls, but also use it as a walkie talkie. Looking back I saw how utterly annoying that must have been for non-Nextel users. I moved away from Nextel to a Nokia candybar phone for a little bit until I finally fell in love – with the Razr. I splurged and bought the Razr Product (Red). It’s still probably my favorite phone ever. Front-pocket friendly, sleek, engineered like it was one piece of metal, and the click when you closed it. Oh…..the click. So satisfying.
Because I was always paying attention to trends and loved my Razr, I bought a Palm Pilot to go with my phone. I thought it was so cool to pull it out for meetings and attempt to take notes. Because I’ve been a Mac user since 7th grade, i struggled a bit with the sync features. It worked well with PC’s, but as was the case with most things in that day, a Mac user was normally left out.
It was right around this time that the execs at the university I was working got these new devices called Treo. It was a palm pilot and phone in one. It had Exchange (ActiveSync) capability so I could send/receive email from it. I could send SMS messages without T9. It was bulky. Not as sleek and sexy as my Razr. I quickly became enamored with it and bought a used one from one of the execs when they upgraded and fell in love. Yes, of course it was a status play to have one of the coolest newest pieces of tech. But it was also one of my favorites because of the fact that it worked.
Finally 2007 came and with it the introduction of the iPhone. When iPhone first was released, the business model was to pay full price ($899). There was no app store and Apple had an exclusive carrier deal with AT&T. My VP/CIO at the time had it and was the envy of all tech/Apple nerds. I kept my Treo until 2009 when I got my first iPhone – the 3GS. Aside from a mild flirtation with Blackerry because of network issues, I’ve never looked back. Aside from iPhone, my two favorite devices were Razr and Treo. Ahhh, nostalgia.
What’s your phone evolution/journey?