From Bricks To The Flexible Smartphone: A Brief History

On Monday, cellphone manufacturer LG announced it will start producing a smartphone with a flexible screen that will be available to the public next year, CNN reports. This new phone, as the name suggests, is malleable and can be bent into a curved shape. Pretty cool, huh?

And although this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a flexible screen, this is the first time a company has decided to produce a phone with such a screen in mass.

If you can imagine a future when we can slap our cellphones around our wrists like a bracelet, then LG’s announcement could potentially seen as watershed moment. Here’s a list of other such momentous moments in the history of cellphones.

Before cellphones, we lived in the dark ages when phones were physically tied by a cord to a wall (or your car, if you were fancy and had a car phone). Then this came around:

(Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Okay, the first cellphones weren’t literally bricks, by they were as heavy as one and weighed just as much. But 1983 marked the first time a mobile cell network was introduced to the world, paving the wave for the iPhones of today.

Phones got smaller throughout the 80’s and 90’s, eventually turning into something like this:

phone1 From Bricks To The Flexible Smartphone: A Brief History

(Photo: PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

Note the awesome green screen with the all-text interface. Cutting edge stuff…

The introduction of color and graphics made phones start to resemble the modern versions we have today. Oh, and flip phones were all the rage.

(Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

(Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

But in the 2000’s someone had the realization that cellphones should do more than just be used to talk to people. And with that, Blackberry, with it’s email, text, web, calendar, notes, etc., capabilities looked poised to take over the world. It was also around this time that someone decided phones should have cameras.

blackberry From Bricks To The Flexible Smartphone: A Brief History

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Then in 2007, fresh off the success of their iMacs and iPods, Apple decided to get into the cellphone game, forever changing how we use our phones, which by this point had been dubbed “smartphones.”

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With it’s sleek appearance, touchscreen capabilities, and the ability to purchase apps online, the iPhone looked to dominate the market. But Android powered phones, which were released just a year later, would rise to the challenge, eventually accounting for over half of all smartphones sold today.

(Photo: BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

Years from now we may be reminiscing about the time when phones were rigid rectangles that had to stay in your pocket or purse. Silly, primitive us.

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


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