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How-To Geek

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What Was The First Smartphone?
IBM Simon
Kyocera 6035
Palm Treo
Nokia 9000


Answer: IBM Simon

If you imagine the first smartphone–like its predecessor the regular cellular phone–to be a monstrous and monochromatic block of plastic, you’d be correct. In 1992 IBM showcased the IBM Simon at the 1992 COMDEX (Computer Dealers’ Exhibition); in doing so they introduced the world to the first smartphone and it was just the kind of enormous brick one would expect from the first phone/computer mashup.

How smart was the first smartphone? By comparison to modern smartphones such as the iPhone and Android devices it wasn’t particularly clever. For the time, however, the Simon was revolutionary and introduced many of the modern features we take for granted in both smart and standard cellular phones. The Simon included a calendar, address book, fax modem, calculator, notepad, an email app, and simple games. It also had a completely touchscreen-based interface (3″ inches on the diagonal with a resolution of 160×293 pixels) with a touch keyboard that sported a very early predictive typing algorithm. You could even expand the memory with a PCMCIA laptop memory card. It retailed for $899 ($1340 adjusted for inflation).

Although the Simon was not widely adopted (the first widely adopted consumer smartphone was the Kyocera 6035), it paved the way for the features we now take for granted.

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