Hello it's Marty: 40 years on since the first mobile phone call

Martin Cooper holds the Motorola DynaTAC phone, the world's first commercial handheld cellular phone and a more recent model.
Martin Cooper holds the Motorola DynaTAC phone, the world's first commercial handheld cellular phone and a more recent model. Photo: REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

It is 40 years since the first experimental mobile phone call was made on April 3 1973 by Motorola employee Martin Cooper.

He is said to have been inspired to make a mobile call by Captain Kirk's gold flip-top communicator on Star Trek.

And who did he ring? Well, he rang rival competitor AT&T and said : "Joel, this is Marty Cooper, I'd like you to know that I'm calling you from a cellular phone."

Recalling the response to the famous call, he said:

And there's silence on the line. I'm suspecting he's grinding his teeth. And he responded politely and we've been friends ever since. But, by the way, he doesn't remember this call. And if you were he, you probably have forgotten it yourself.

– Martin Cooper, speaking to the Computer History Museum in 2008
Samsung's Galaxy S3
Samsung's Galaxy S3 was 2012's best-selling phone in the UK, according to uSwitch.com Credit: Reuters

Since then mobile phone technology has come a long way after years of development, new inventions, to what we know as the smartphone today.

We now live in a world where people depend on phones for internet access, social networking, maps, morning alarms, games, apps and more.

It has even given rise to the phenonomen of "pillow surfing" - using a mobile to surf the internet when you should be going to sleep.

Here is a look back at how the mobile phone has evolved.

1980s

In the 1980s mobile phones were less than discreet
In the 1980s mobile phones were less than discreet

Watch this promotional video for a Motorola DynaTac phone:

1990s

A vintage Nokia phone
The Ericsson GH337 won the Caesar ward for "Best Mobile Phone of the Year" in 1993 Credit: Ericsson
An early flip phone model which was too big to fit in the palm of your hand Credit: ITN

2000s

"Can you hear me?!" Comedian Dom Joly used to parody mobile phones on his show Trigger Happy TV Credit: Toby Melville/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Nokia 3310 was launched 2000 and went on to become one of the most popular phones of all time. To date, more than 126 million handset are believed to have been sold worldwide.

The Nokia 3310 was once the phone of choice Credit: Nokia
Hello Moto was the slogan that heralded the arrival of Motorola's sleek Razr V3 in 2004. Credit: Motorola
The first generation Apple iPhone was launched in 2007. Credit: REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico
  • What has been your favourite old mobile phone over the years? Do you still have it? Let us know at yourstory@itv.com