It was 20 years ago today in 1992 that IBM unveiled the world’s first smartphone at the COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas. You could email from it, text from it and even fax from it. And it had a stylus-driven touch-screen. You couldn’t surf the web from it but, to be fair, that was because Tim Berners-Lee hadn’t yet invented the worldwide web in its current browser-friendly format.
Called the IBM Simon, it was shaped like a brick, weighed more than 1lb (510g) and had 1MB of memory. In real terms the Simon would cost £1000 + today.
Now fast-forward 20 years and the supermarket chain Asda is currently selling the Android-based HTC Salsa smartphone for £79 – or 7% of the cost of the original Simon. The Salsa also weighs in 120g (25% of the original) and has memory capability of up to 32GB (32,000 times the original).