Anyone remember the world's first smartphone?

Here's an anniversary you may have missed over the weekend. 

Aug 16 marked 20 years since the world's "first smartphone" was released. 

In Aug 1994, IBM released a phone called Simon, the first phone which featured a calendar, notepad and calculator. It could send faxes and even e-mail, but the latter required synching to a computer. 

According to The Washington Post, a 1993 Bloomberg article called the phone a "lightweight PC", the first in a whole series that IBM was developing.

The name for the device apparently came from the kids' game 'Simon says', according to the curator of an ongoing exhibition in London's Science Museum in which the phone is displayed. 

'The marketing was that it was so simple, that it could do anything you instructed it to," Ms Charlotte Connelly told Mail Online. 


While the iPhone 5s weighs just 112 grams, the Simon weighed in at almost half a kg. It looked like a brick as well, with a 23cm screen. 

And while we all complain about the iPhone's battery life, we should be grateful - the Simon only had 60 minutes battery life.

On its 2,400bps modem, you may never have completed downloading a high-res image file before the battery ran out. 

Plus, it cost US$900 (S$1,100), so, it was clearly, totally worth the splurge. 

Sources: The Washington Post, Mail Online


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