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[VIDEO, PHOTOS] The mobile phone turns 40

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   April 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM   |   Comments

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April 3 (UPI) -- On this day in 1973 Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made telecommunications history when he placed the first mobile phone call -- to rivals at Bell Labs. Although Motorola got to the phone first, the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) developed by Bell Labs was the first cellular network.

Ten years later, Motorola's DynaTAC became the first commercially available cellphone at 10 inches tall, nearly two pounds, and carrying a cool $3,995 price tag. The mobile phones looked like the military field equipment they were developed to be, but Gordon Gekko in made them look stylish in the movie "Wall Street."

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) talks on a mobile phone in the 1987 film "Wall Street." (20th Century Fox)

The first commercial text message was sent in 1992 and Tetris became the first cellphone game in 1994. There were flip phones, Qwerty phones and touch screens. In 2004, the first Wi-Fi certified cellphone became available. Now phones are basically handheld computers that happen to make phone calls.

The preppy Zack Morris had a "brick" phone on "Saved By the Bell," and as the series marched through the nineties his phone got better and better. Watch the evolution of the Zack Morris brick phone.

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