The cell phone, also known as a cellular phone or mobile phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls. Modern mobile phones use cellular network architecture and, therefore, are called cellular phones or cell phones. In addition to making and receiving phone calls, cell phones can perform a variety of other services such as email, SMS texts, Internet access, photography, video recording, and Bluetooth connectivity, among others.
The mobile phone can be traced back to 1917 when Eric Tigerstedt, a Finnish inventor, filed a patent for a “pocket-size folding telephone with a very thin carbon microphone.” Analog radio communications from ships and trains are examples of early predecessors of cellular phones. Mobile phones became accessible and affordable thanks to the development of metal-oxide-semiconductor large-scale integration technology, information theory, and cellular networking.
The first handheld mobile phone, a handset weighing almost four and a half pounds, was demonstrated in 1973 by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola. In 1979, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone launched the first cellular network in the world in Japan. DyanTAC 8000x was the first commercially available mobile phone, introduced in 1983.
The first true smartphone made its appearance in the world in 1992 when the Simon Personal Communicator was created by IBM. Smartphones comprise about 78% of total mobile phone sales. Modern smartphones have endless capabilities such as video calls, GPS navigation, advanced cameras, and a variety of other functions thanks to the availability of countless applications that can be downloaded directly to the user’s device. Between the release of the DyanTAC 8000x in 1983 and 2014, mobile phone subscriptions grew to over 7 billion worldwide, enough to supply every person on Earth with a cell phone. As of Q1 of 2020, the best-selling phones in the United States are Samsung, Huawei, and Apple.
Cell Phones by Country
In general, the number of cell phone users per country is relatively proportional to that country’s population compared to other countries. Some people have multiple cell phone lines for various reasons, including one for personal use and one for business use. The following countries have the highest number of cell phones users:
- China (1.6 billion)
- India (1.28 billion)
- Indonesia (386 million)
- United States (327 million)
- Brazil (284 million)
- Russia (256 million)
- Nigeria (167 million)
- Bangladesh (166 million)
- Pakistan (165 million)
- Japan (147 million)
The following countries have the highest number of cell phone lines per 100 citizens: