The IBM designed mobile phone that was released on August 16, 1994, turned 20 on Saturday. The one-of-a-kind clunky device was a handheld, touch screen cellular phone, designed and engineered by IBM and the American cellular company Belself. It had a battery life of one hour and weighed almost half a kilogram.
According to media reports, the cell phone was called Simon because it was simple and user-friendly.
IBM Simon was the first cellular phone to include telephone and other user-friendly options in one device. In addition to its ability to make and receive calls, the phone included many applications such as address book, calendar, calculator, appointment schedule, calculator, work-time clock, electronic note pad, handwritten annotations, and standard and predictive stylus input screen keyboard.
Apart from these, it also allowed users to send and receive e-mails, faxes and cellular pages on the device.
The $900 multi-feature cellular phone was discontinued in 1995 after selling 50,000 units.
In an interview given to a media daily, Charlotte Connelly from London's Science Museum told that the cellular phone had all the components of a smartphone including a slot in the bottom to insert different applications such as mapping ones, spreadsheets and games that really made it a forerunner to the iPhone.