45 Years Calls for a Celebration

At 45, Motorola found its true calling.

There’s no denying that it’s difficult to imagine a world without cell phones – whether it’s staying connected with family and friends around the world or capturing memories on-the-go, the mobile phone plays more roles in our lives today than it ever has. The introduction of the world’s first commercial handheld cellular phone by Motorola 45 years ago not only changed the game but continues to be the reason technology plays such a big role in our lives. A first of its kind, the phone was just the part of our legacy. A legacy that’s marked by disruption, innovation and some of the most iconic devices of all time.

So to celebrate the mobile phone, we’re taking a look back at the past 45 years of our rich history:

1983: Motorola DynaTAC
On this day in 1983 we launched the world’s first commercial handheld cell phone. The Motorola DynaTAC (short for Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) was 13 inches tall and weighed 1.75 pounds. Think that sounds a bit bulky? Today’s moto x4 is not even 6 inches tall and weighs less than half a pound. The world’s first mobile phone offered about 30 minutes of use per charge, stored 30 phone numbers and took a whopping 10 hours to charge. It may not seem groundbreaking today, but back in the early ‘80s it was unlike anything anyone had ever seen.

1996: Motorola StarTAC
In 1996 we started one of the biggest trends in mobile phone history with the launch of the Motorola StarTAC: the world’s first clamshell flip phone. Weighing just over 3 ounces and standing at almost 4 inches tall, the StarTAC was the smallest phone available at the time. The world’s first flip phone remained incredibly popular until the early 2000s.

2004: Motorola RAZR
That’s right. We’re talking about the ICONIC Motorola RAZR. When the RAZR was launched in 2004, it immediately became the phone that would define a generation. A cultural icon at its finest, the original RAZR V3 had the thinnest profile of any flip phone on the market and proved that a cell phone was not just a tool, but also a fashion accessory (Hot pink, anyone? What about red or blue?) Not to brag, but the RAZR V3 is the best-selling clamshell phone of all time, and its undeniable cool factor inspires some to continue using it today.

2016: moto z + moto mods
We’re not done yet! In 2016, we introduced a device that totally changed the game and pushed the boundaries of what a cell phone could be – the only smartphone that could transform into a projector, smart speaker or a true zoom camera with the assistance of our signature moto mods, the moto z. With the endless opportunities offered by modular technology, the moto z is more than a smartphone. It’s unlimited possibilities.

Today: Innovate with YOU in Mind
Here at Motorola we continue to innovate for you. Whether it’s crowdsourcing ideas for new moto mods, offering premium features at value prices, or helping you manage the time you spend on your smartphone (take our phone-life balance quiz here), our desire to revolutionize the world of mobile phone technology is as strong as ever. All of us at Motorola have truly enjoyed being a part of the past 45 years of mobile phone history, and we can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for the future!