Cell phone – Invention or Innovation

March 13, 2010mike Comments Off

The invention of the cellphone, commonly attributed to Motorola engineer Marty Cooper.  Marty if you’re reading, I’m going to spoil my conclusion right here: Innovation.

That’s right, calling the cellphone an invention is like calling bottled water an invention.  There has always been water, and there have been bottles for a long long time.  There have been phones since Alexander Graham Bell first made a call in 1875 and there has been mobility since the first homo erectus stood on two legs.  The innovation to make a phone wireless had already occurred as well (see also car phone) it was just a matter of time before battery technology (real the problem with everything isn’t it?) caught up with man’s desire to scream senselessly into a plastic box while walking around the street.

What a glorious plastic box it was the Motorola Dyna-Tac came onto the scene in 1973.  Hard to believe the rapid rate of adoption of the device seeing as now cellphones are beginning eclipse land lines in usage.

While perhaps one of the greatest (top 50) innovations of all time, certainly a far cry from a true invention! (Sorry Marty)

The cellphone, innovation not invention!

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