There are countless statistics that can be quoted about smartphones, with facts and figures endlessly listed across the web. But in the short time that our digital companions have been with us, they have amassed a plethora of fascinating facts that can keep tech geeks busy for hours.
Here are some of the most interesting ones, from Britain’s first mobile phone call to the best selling handset ever.
Text messages were originally limited to 160 characters
The older mobile users among us will remember having to limit our text-based outpourings to just a sentence or two, something which seems very old-fashioned now. The invention of the SMS is credited to a German man named Friedhelm Hillebrand, who worked out the best character limit by tapping out sentences on his typewriter.
Interestingly, Twitter worked out its character limit through the same reasoning, with 140 for text and the other 20 for a user’s name.
First phone photo
Long before the age of selfies and Instagram, the first photo sent via a mobile phone was taken in 1997. An engineer named Philippe Kahn, who is widely credited with pioneering camera phone technology, took the image in the maternity ward of the hospital where his daughter had just been born.
Those old physical keypads which adorned almost every handset we saw used to cause some problems. Accidental dialing, or pocket calling, wasn’t just the bane of anyone whose name began with the letter A, but also that of the emergency services.
During the earliest years of the 21st century, UK emergency switchboards took up to 11,000 accidental 999 calls every day. Handset manufacturers eventually brought in locking measures, with capacitive touchscreens making a big difference too.
Best selling phone ever
What’s the best selling phone ever? The Samsung’s Galaxy S4, or another leading high-ender? Possibly a BlackBerry from back in the day when the Canadian firm led the mobile world? No, it was the humble Nokia 1110, a basic handset that was launched in 2003. Total sales have amounted to around 250 million handsets worldwide.
The first mobile phone call from within the UK was made by comedian Ernie Wise, with the celebrity making the call to Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury. The first mobile phones went on sale in Britain two years later.
Do you want to know about some of the most important things that have been done with phones? Take a look at our lists of the most historic phone calls ever made and the most famous text messages ever sent.