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This Week in Tech History: The First Smartphone

It’s a week of firsts: The first push-button telephone, the first smartphone and the first computer-generated feature-length film … It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1866 – The rotary-crank bicycle was patented in Paris, France. The bike, incidentally, was known as the bone shaker.


1963 – Bell Telephone introduced the first commercial push-button telephone. The push-button phone replaced the rotary dial phone, which had been in use for decades.

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released. Windows was received poorly by critics who felt the operating system put too much emphasis on mouse input at a time when mouse use was not yet widespread.

1992 – The first smartphone, the IBM Simon, was introduced at the COMDEX convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And this week in 1995 – Toy Story was released by Pixar Animation Studios as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery. Pixar was of course co-founded by the man who brought us Apple… Steve Jobs.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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