All the rage, all the connectivity...
By this point the fashionable side of our phones had taken off. Ericsson's GA628 handset was the first to offer a range of colour choice and customisation, while Siemens had a punt at a colour display with its S10 model. The latter, which only offered four hues in total, proved unpopular with consumers, though.
In 1998, Nokia went a step further and launched the 5110, which captured creative hearts with its interchangeable Xpress-On cover system. More importantly, it was one of the first phones to feature the game Snake. The 5110 remains one of the most popular mobile models of all time.
Ericsson GA628 (1997), Nokia 5110 (1998) and Nokia 7110 (1999)
Nokia 5110 source: Soltys0 / WikiMedia
The following year, phones had dropped in price so much that the likes of Tesco offered PAYG handsets for under £50. Price wars were inevitable. That year, Nokia touted the first WAP-enabled phone - the 7110 - as well as its popular 8210 model, which also came with a range of Xpress-On covers.
Motorola, meanwhile, unveiled the world's first tri-band GSM phone - the Timeport L7089 - which meant those travelling over the pond and beyond no longer required the use of separate devices. The handset was later outclassed by the Nokia 6310i, which quickly became the business traveller's phone of choice.
A new millennium was upon us and mobiles started to take centre stage. In 2000, Nokia continued its handset dominance with the consumer-friendly 3310, which added new ringtones and popularised the successful Navi Key function first seen on its predecessor a year before. Scrolling through the menu system had been made much easier as a result.
Motorola Timeport (1999), Nokia 3310 (2000), Ericsson T36 (2000) and Nokia 6310i (2002)
BT Cellnet - which had yet to be rebranded O2 - launched the world's first GPRS network too, although enabled devices were thin on the ground. Ericsson on the other hand became the first vendor to stick Bluetooth into a phone with its tri-band and WAP-enabled handset, the T36. It also has the honour of being the first company to release a device marketed as a smartphone, the R380.
The Ericsson R380 was a significant step in the evolution of our mobiles as it was one of the first phones to feature a touchscreen panel.
The idea of touchscreen phones had been around for decades, first with an Apple concept landline set in 1983 and the IBM Simon nine years later, however it wasn't until the introduction of the Symbian OS alongside the R380 that manufacturers started to deem it a viable feature.
Ericsson R380 (2000)
Many manufacturers were instead focusing on music, photography and games to take phones beyond voice and text communications. Overseas the concept of cameraphones had really started to gather momentum at this point.
Next page: Smarter, better, faster... breakable
"while the oversized devices immortalised in Dom Joly's famous Trigger Happy sketch have all but died out"
No they haven't. Most phones are oversized nowadays. There was a time when having a small, well-built phone was a good thing. Now everyone apparently wants something that's too big to fit in your pocket, will get scratched by your keys if you try to, and will shatter if you drop it.
Oh, and the battery doesn't last an entire day.
Downvote away, fanbois.
"Since the iPhone's introduction in 2007, we've literally seen hundreds of smarties hit the shelves..."
Rubbish - for years before iPhone's introduction in 2007, I have been using smartphones; the original SPV (Classic) (2002), SPV E200 (2003), SPV C500 (2004), Samsung i300 (2005), XDA Mini S (2005 - 1st of my touchscreens), XDA Orbit II (2007), HTC HD2 (2009) & now my S3... only the last 2 of these post-date 2007 iPhone. All of these have music playing functionality as well as the ability to load different applications.
Let's get this straight - Apple DID NOT invent the smartphone or even the touchscreen smartphone. They did not invent the portable digital music player. They did not invent the tablet computer.
They DID do much to popularise these device families, but they are not the ancestors!!
So stop trying to rewrite history like some glove puppet of Apple & write a factual article that acknowledges Apple's influence & even dominance; but credit where it is due to non-Apple smartphones.
Nokia 6310i.... They never really improved on that one?