Believe it or not, the smartphone is 20 years old
The breakneck pace of change in the smartphone world is well known: Since the iPhone catalyzed popular demand in 2007, development has been moving faster and faster, to the point where devices are out of date mere months after their release. However, this wasn’t always the case.
The IBM Simon was rolled out on Nov. 23, 1992, at Comdex, though it was code-named “Angler” at the time. You likely couldn’t have fit it in your pocket, given that it was about the size of today’s Nexus 7, but then, at 18 ounces in weight, it probably would’ve made you walk funny anyway. It sported a 16MHz processor, 1MB of memory and 1MB of storage. Its operating system was a variant of DOS.
Its external app ecosystem consisted of exactly one program—a PC-to-Simon texting tool called DispatchIt, which cost $3000 for the PC software and an additional $300 for every Simon client. To be fair, however, it could do some things modern smartphones can’t, like accept fax transmissions.
Maybe it’s not fair to compare the “first smartphone” with a modern phone like the Genuine ThL Brand W3+ Android 4.0 Phone… but definitely funny. This new Android smartphone’s CPU clock rate is more than 66 times higher, not to mention that it has dual core processor. So theoretically it has two cores with 66.66 times faster processing performance than the IBM Simon’s CPU. The Random Access Memory capacity is 1000 times larger while the storage capacity is almost 4000 times larger on the W3+ model.