After this blog about Nomophobia, we have to confess the entire Avanca-team suffers from a phone addiction. The capabilities of smartphones are endless, but sometimes we secretly dream about that early era of the mobile phone and drift off into nostalgic thoughts. Do you remember your first text message or the first time you completed a Snake game on your Nokia phone? We have listed eight pre-smartphone era memories for you.
#1 The screen of your phone was unbreakable
Do you remember this one? The Nokia 3310 is, together with the Nokia 3210 and the Nokia 1100, one of the most popular Nokia phones ever, which dominated the mobile phone market around the millennium. With 250 million units sold, the Nokia 1100 is the best selling phone of all times. You didn’t need an Appstore with all sorts of games and apps. Playing Snake kept you busy for hours. A great feature of these phones were the swappable front covers. Meanwhile, the Nokia 3310 has acquired a cult status because of its unbreakable nature. It didn’t matter how often you let your phone bounce, your display remained faithful to you. At most, your phone was shut off and had to restart again. A screen protector in the pre-smartphone era was not necessary.
#2 You sent text messages instead of Whatsapp messages
Do you remember when you’ve sent your first text message? On December 3, 1992, the first text message ever was sent by a programmer from Sema Group who sent an early ‘Merry Christmas’ to his boss, using the Vodafone network. The SMS was initially developed for internal communication between colleagues, but soon became a success outside of the Sema Group. The success of SMS decreases due to the competition from free communications services like Whatsapp.
#3 You charged your phone once a week – and that was enough
The Siemens A50 was launched in 2002 and was, along with the Siemens M35i, an incredibly popular phone at that time. These phones come from the era that the battery lasted an entire week without the need to recharge. A power-bank was completely unnecessary. This was also the time you panicked when you accidentally opened your WAP internet. You didn’t know how fast you had to get out of that weird screen.
#4 As a trendsetter, the “Fashion phone” was a must-have
The Motorola Razr became extremely popular, mostly due to its sleek design and was also known as the “fashion phone”. Motorola sold 130 million Razrs. This would mean that every resident of Japan would own one!
#5 Pay as you go
By the mid-1990s, prepaid calling was possible for the first time with microchips smartcards. At that time, this was the most popular way to pay for calling with your mobile phone. In a Dutch commercial on how to set credit on your phone, a mobile phone and a banknote were depicted in the ad to explain the theory behind pre-paid calling. After the commercial was aired the customer service was overwhelmed with how customers could put the banknote into the phone.
#6 You couldn’t stop opening and closing your “Slide phone”
Besides the famous “flip phones”, the “slide phones” were a major hit. Samsung was a big fan of these phones and produced various models. The Samsung D600 was popular, but the Samsung D900 was at least as famous. An undesirable side effect was the tic developed by many device owners. Do you remember constantly opening and closing your phone.
#7 You ordered new ringtones around the clock – preferably the annoying ones
Ordering ringtones by telephone, another memorable pre-smartphone habit. At the end of the month you had to hide yourself when your parents received their home phone bill. After a couple of years, the polyphonic ringtones started to replace the monophonic ones, and you could also play music on your mobile phone. This development led to new services where you could receive ringtones as the “Crazy Frog” and “The Girl with the leeks” on your phone. Do you remember? Text CRAZY ON, text LEEK ON… the most annoying commercials of that time!
#8 Your decorated-with-diamonds phone was a true eye-catcher
Today there are hundreds of websites where we can style our smartphone into a real fashion item. But do you remember Samsung in 2002 launched a phone targeted to the phone user that wanted to make her phone a showstopper? The Samsung SGH-T500 was the first lady phone. With diamonds around the clockwork and a mirror display on the inside – the use of the selfie function was obviously not available yet – just to check your makeup. “Apps” such as tracking your biorhythms and calorie counting completed the phone. This version of Samsung was only the start of a successful series of lady phones, where Samsung regularly sought collaborations with renowned designers, including Rodrigo Otazu.
What are your memories of the pre-smartphone era? Share them in the comments below this post!