This Day, That Year – November 23

This Day, That Year – November 23

This day in history we feature the IBM Simon. The first smartphone, the IBM Simon, is introduced at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on this day in 1992.

Trivia – IBM Simon

The IBM Simon Personal Communicator (simply known as IBM Simon) is a handheld, touchscreen PDA designed by International Business Machines (IBM), and manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric. Although the term “smartphone” was not coined until 1995, because of Simon’s features and capabilities, it has been retrospectively referred to as the first true smartphone. BellSouth Cellular Corp. distributed the IBM Simon in the United States between August 1994 and February 1995, selling 50,000 units. The Simon Personal Communicator was the first personal digital assistant or PDA to include telephony features (make phone calls). The battery lasted only an hour, and flip phones became increasingly slim which led to its demise.

Related read – Tech Review: Realme C35 – The most stylish budget smartphone

In addition to its ability to make and receive cellular phone calls, Simon was also able to send and receive faxes, e-mails and cellular pages. Simon featured many applications, including an address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, calculator, world time clock, electronic notepad, handwritten annotations, and standard and predictive stylus input screen keyboards. Each Simon was shipped with a charging base station, a nickel-cadmium battery, and a protective leather cover. Optional was a PCMCIA pager card designed by Motorola, an RS232 adapter cable for use with PC-Link to access files from a personal computer,[citation needed] and an RJ11 adapter cable to allow voice and data calls to be made over POTS land-lines. The RJ11 adapter helped users reduce expensive cellular phone bills or make calls where cellular coverage didn’t exist in 1994. The Simon used the file system from Datalight ROM-DOS along with file compression from Stacker. IBM created a unique touch-screen user interface for Simon; no DOS prompt existed. This user interface software layer for Simon was known as the Navigator. The Simon could be upgraded to run third party applications either by inserting a PCMCIA card or by downloading an application to the phone’s internal memory. PDA Dimensions developed “DispatchIt”, the only aftermarket, third-party application developed for Simon. It was an early predecessor to “Remote Desktop” software. The DispatchIt application costs were US$2,999 for the host PC software and US$299 for each Simon software client.

Source – Wikipedia

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