Former Motorola employee, Dr. Martin Cooper, is credited with the invention of the first portable phone. Dr. Cooper made the first cellular phone call in April of 1973. He called his rival Joel Engel the head of research at Bell Labs. Although Bell Laboratories developed the idea of cell phones with technology originally used for communication between police cars, Dr. Cooper who worked for Motorola was the first person to use the technology in a portable phone that worked outside a car.
The first cell phone invented by Dr. Cooper was called the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. Although it was technically a cell phone it hardly resembled the cell phones we use today. It weighed almost two pounds and was a foot long. The first cell phone was so expensive, costing almost $4000, that at first only businesses and the military had access to them. It took ten years or so before cell phones began to trickle down to the public and after that the industry took off.
Thanks to Dr. Cooper's invention, other companies began developing their own cellular phone prototypes and cell phones went from being 50 pound car phones, to two pound mobile phones, to three ounce multitasking tools. Although not originally available to the public, the cell phone became one of the most popular pieces of technology in a very short time. Today there are more cell phone lines than home lines.
Today Dr. Martin Cooper is the CEO of ArrayComm a wireless technology and systems company founded in 1992. There were mobile phones available prior to Dr. Cooper's invention but they required heavy equipment and were not truly portable as they could only be used in a car and would only work over a limited range. Cell phones are indispensable today and Dr. Martin Cooper will always be credited as the person who invented the cell phone. Thanks to him we have the modern communication network we enjoy today.