Telecommunications giant Motorola hit the headlines on April 25th 1989, when it unveiled the first analogue mobile phone in the form of The MicroTAC. Marketed as the MicroTAC Pocket Cellular Telephone, the phone measured some 9inches long and featured Motorola’s pioneering flip design and its effect would revolutionise the industry. The mobile offered Total Area Coverage (TAC) and launched with the 9800X model which was then the smallest and lightest mobile available on the market, weighing in at 12.3 ounces when fitted with the standard battery or 10.7 ounces with the slimline battery option. The 9800X effectively replaced the Motorola DynaTAC, the model notably used by Martin Cooper of Motorola to make the historic first publicised mobile calls on April 4th 1973.
Motorola’s sleek new design was a world away from the “brick” that was the DynaTAC, and with a price tag of between $2,300 and $3,500, its target was the high-end of the market who could afford the slimline pocket sized mobile technology developed at Motorola’s Research Centre in Arlington Heights, Illinois. It offered a more enhanced LED and information display compared to the DynaTAC, with additional features of the model including a numerical menu for extended phone operation settings with keypad tones, hands-free operation, memory protection, currency calculator, charge rate and automatic display timer. The 9800X offered a total talk time of 1.5 hours and battery standby of 30 hours, and the charger had the ability to charge the phone and a spare battery simultaneously.