Orbitel 901 cell phone: the great-great-great grandfather of texting

Orbitel 901 cell phone: the great-great-great grandfather of text messages.

Behold! Texting just turned 20 years old—almost old enough to drink. ;-)

Software engineer Neil Papworth sent the first text on December 3rd, 1992, to Vodafone Director Richard Jarvis, who received it on a clunky Orbitel 901 cell phone. The message read “Merry Christmas.”

But at the ripe old age of 20, has texting reached its peak? Some industry insiders believe so, as more and more consumers use third-party messaging tools on smartphones.

But since smartphones only account for about half of all cell phones, texting is still incredibly popular, especially among teens. In the US, 75% of teens send an average of 60 texts a day. 60 texts! It’s their primary form of communication, surpassing phone calls, social networks and face-to-face conversations.

So let’s celebrate the text message, with a recap of its historical highlights. Some will make you smile, others will make you LOL.

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Written by Christopher Skinner
Christopher Skinner

December 4th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

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