The First SMARTPHONE: Phone That Brought Revolution!

Who Invented Smartphone? The journey of the FIRST Smartphone was not so smooth. The modern Smartphone has taken a long 28-year journey to reach us in 2020, and it has changed a lot along the way.

According to Pew Research Center, today 81% of Americans, have got a smartphone, and 96% of Americans own a cell phone. Life without it is really difficult to even think.

The history of the smartphone is important to understand for getting an idea of how it has revolutionized over time.

Let’s learn some of the questions answer people mostly ask about the first smartphone.

What was the name of the 1St Smartphone?

The name of the first Smartphone is Simon Personal Communicator from IBM. An interesting fact about the name of smartphones is that people did not start using the word Smartphone when it was released in 1994. The smartphone’s name came in 1995 and got connected with the Simon Personal Communicator in RETROSPECT.

Who invented the Smartphone?

The name of the inventor of the Smartphone is Frank Canova. Frank Canova was the lead architect of IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator, an engineer of IBM.

Thus it makes IBM and Frank Canova the inventor of smartphones, Frank Canova as a person, and IBM as a company.

What year the first Smartphone was invented?

The invention of the first smartphone occurred in 1992, in the COMDEX computer technology trade show where the first prototype was introduced. The commercial development of it was based on the prototype. The seed invention of the smartphone occurred in 1992 and the modified complete device came in 1994. Precisely, the invention for prototype occurred in 1992, and for complete Simon Personal Communicator aka the first smartphone development occurred in 1994.

When did the first Smartphone come out?

The first smartphone came out on August 16, 1994, for commercial use. The first foundation was brought a couple of year back in 1992.

On November 23, 1992, IBM debuted a prototype device codenamed ‘Sweetspot’ at the COMDEX computer technology trade show in Las Vegas, USA. The prototype includes the combination of mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) into one single device.

As the prototype managed to gather a lot of attention, IBM started to work on the commercial product development code named ‘Angler’. One interesting fact is that IMB approached Motorola to manufacture their device but Motorola refused to do so, as they thought IBM may arise as one of their competitors.

Later, IBM’s device was manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

The seed of the first Smartphone was established at the COMDEX, and finally, the very First Smartphone come out and become commercially available on August 16, 1994. The first smarted phone was one massive revolution as, before that, the combination of PDA and a mobile phone was not nearly possible to think of.

Specification of the First Smartphone

Simon Personal CommunicatorSpecifications
CPUVadem X-86, 16MhZ, 16Bit
Operating SystemDatalight ROM DOS
ManufacturerMitsubishi Electric Corp
Storage1 MB expandable upto 2 MB
Display4.5*1.4 inch LCD
Battery7.5V NiCad (Nickel Cadmium)
TouchScreenYes with a Stylus

How long could you talk on the first Smartphone before you had to charge the battery?

You could talk for almost 60 minutes on the first smartphone before you had to charge the battery. The Simon Personal Communicator had a Nickel Cadmium battery. The Simon Personal Communicator also knows as the first smartphone really struggled with its battery life, one of the big reasons behind its failure as the phone took a lot of time to charge with only an hour of backup.

How much memory did the first Smartphone have?

The first smartphone had only 1MB of Pseudo Static RAM (PSRAM) memory, yeah IBM Simon only had a megabyte of RAM. The first smartphone had also 1MB of storage which could be expanded to 2MB by Stacker Compression. The smartphone had an option to add storage to run the 3Rd party apps. A PCMCIA card or PC card could be added and run 3rd party apps on it. It used the compression method in its memory so the exact size was a little more than the visible size of IBM Simon.

How much did it cost?

Simon Personal Communicator was pretty costly even at that time. The cost of the IBM Simon was 899$ dollars, with a service contract while without the service contract it was $1099. In 1994, $1100 was really a significant amount of money although it had some pretty advanced features comparing to its time. The high price was one of the reasons behind IBM Simon’s short paced journey in the market of smartphones. It was short but it was revolutionary.

Features of the first smartphone?

Some of the features of Simon Personal Communicator aka the first smartphone are:

  • Touchscreen
  • Sending and Receiving Fax
  • Emails
  • Address Book
  • Calendar
  • Calculator
  • World Cock
  • Note Pad
  • Alarm Clock
  • Hand Written Annotation: A pretty advance features as people still enjoy the hand written annotation feature in the famous Note Smartphone Series to date. It had that facility build in its features.

Why did IBM Simon fail?

Simon was sold 50000 units; a pretty large number comparing to its price range. But IBM stopped its production in February 1995 just after six months from its release. So it can be said that it was a failed product. The 2 main reasons behind its failure would be

  • The Massive Price of $899 with service contract $1099 without a contract
  • The very short battery life of 1Hour talk time. For a phone costing that high was not able to produce a decent battery life which was one major reason for its failure.

First Touchsreen Smartphone

It is quite clear from the above-mentioned information is that The Simon Personal Communicator was the very first Smartphone in the history of smartphones. But it did not quite clear up about the question of First Touchscreen Smartphone. Touch Screen is one of the best features of Smartphones which is now available with a 120Hz smooth touch-sensitive screen.

Well, to disappoint you with no new answer, Simon Personal Communicator was also the First TouchScreen Smartphone. It had the touch screen facility built-in itself. Although it did not have the facility of smooth human touch navigation, it came with a stylus. All the touch navigation had to complete using a stylus.

When did Smartphones become popular?

Do you know how many people over the whole world own a Smartphone?

The numbers are pretty amazing. 44.98% of the total world population has a Smartphone today in 2020. In number, its 3.5Billion people are using a Smartphone all over the world.

Almost half of the world’s population today has a Smartphone.  Let’s go a bit backward to know when actually Smartphone become popular.

The first Smartphone was released in 1994 and was sold 50000 units, that is when the numbers of Smartphone sales started to take place.

Now let’s see the number of Smartphone sales from 2007 as the first-ever iPhone was released in 2007, and started the revolution in the world of smartphones.

The number of Smartphone Units sold in number and year, Data: Statista

YearUnit Sold in Million

So, you can see the number and the unit of smartphones sold. The rise in the number started in 2010 where it moved to 296.65 M units from 1725.38M units, a big leap in the number. After that, the growth occurred at an exponential rate which hit the Billion marks in 2014.

After hitting a billion marks the Smartphone sale slowed a little, 1517.83M units smartphones were sold in 2019.

The first iPhone was released in 2007 and the Android Operating system was released in 2008. The revolution started to occur a bit later when both of these Giants of smartphones started their Magic.

So, a specific year would be appropriate to assign to the popularity or the time when smartphones become popular as it occurred slowly over time, but the major leap occurred in the period from 2010 to 2014. A time frame when smartphones started to become widespread.


We have given an answer to your question to “Who Invented Smartphone” in this post.  Though the first Smartphone was invented in 1992, the revolution started in 2007, Apple started it with its one of the best creations ‘The iPhone” and then further pushed by Android Smartphones. The journey of the first smartphone was neither revolutionizing nor astonishing still we are standing in a time where life without the smart device is really hard to imagine!

Any thoughts on how it will be after another 28 years of revolutions in smartphone Technology? Feel free to express your thoughts.

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