World's First Ever Smartphone To Be Displayed At London's Science Museum

Aug 18, 2014

The world's oldest smartphone will be put on display to the public in October as part of the London's Science Museum's new 'Information Age' exhibit.

IBM Simon, a 200 x 64 x 38mm, 510g beast, first hit the shelves back on 16 August 1994 – a full 20 years ago.

Some of the phone's functionality might surprise you. Simon featured a 4.5 x 1.4in touch-sensitive LCD display, which you could use with a stylus for note-taking and general keyboard capabilities.

It could also run a selection of apps, send and receive faxes and emails, manage contacts and display a personal calendar. Somewhat astonishingly, it also supported PredictaKey, a sort of nineties equivalent of SwiftKey.

Unfortunately, aside from the fact that the phone was huge, its battery only lasted about an hour and it featured a paltry 1MB of storage and RAM. Hardware specialists, pat yourselves on the backs. 

The handset initially cost between $899 (£540) and $1,099 (£660), but this price tag was later reduced to $599 (£360). Despite the fact that Simon was only available for purchase for half a year, it is believed that IBM managed to flog a staggering 50,000 units.

The exhibition will showcase a number of other pioneering ICT devices and technologies which have never yet been publicly displayed, claim the organisers.

Author: Aatif Sulleyman

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