From brick phones to iPhones, mobile museums are a must-see

Why not a museum dedicated to mobile phones? There are museums dedicated to art, natural history, cars, and many other titles. That was the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtechnology giants Ben Wood and Matt Chatterley, who decided to create the Mobile Phone Museum by the end of 2021. Their museum was unique not only because of its subject matter, but also because it was available online than in a physical situation.

Wood and Chatterley have acquired more than 2,200 smartphone models, including the first GSM mobile phone for full-fledged digital networks, the Motorola International 3200 since 1992. It is a “brick phone” with an antenna and weighs more than half a kilo. But it was controversial at the time, because before that mobile phone had analog networks meant chunky devices weighing around five kilos. Because they are too large to move around, the owners of those machines often put them in their cars.

In the course of the 1990s, cell phones became increasingly pocket friendly. Ericsson, Nokia, and Siemens all make models with stubby antennas weighing just around 300 grams, and in some cases much smaller. The collection also includes far advanced versions of modern smartphones, such as the IBM Simon from 1993 or the mobile phone keyboard that can be paired with the Nokia 9000 Communicator from 1996.

From there it is not far from the first flagship smartphone, the original iPhone, which came in 2007 combining the already common hardware elements with a new type of software and a new interface. The first Android smartphone, HTC Dream, followed in 2008. Museum catalogs can be filtered by type, brand, and age or by collection. Collections include Best Selling, James Bond Phones, Ugliest, First, Luxury, and Fashion.

Among the best-selling cell phones in the museum are the simple Nokia 3310 (2000) and Motorola’s Razr V3 flip phone (2004). The first collection includes the first devices in a world-renowned brand, such as the Sony Ericsson W800 (2005), the first Walkman phone, and the Samsung Galaxy S (2010), a pioneer of Korea’s famous S series. Museum organizers are also looking for some models to complete the collection and welcome gifts. Contributors will have their name on the site. Gifts are cataloged, labeled, photographed and then stored safely. – dpa

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