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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 Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for 14 years. He is a producer of Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline and 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.

1746 posts

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