IBM Simon turns 20Did you know that the world’s first smartphone was made by technology giant IBM and went on sale way back in 1994. IBM Simon, as the smartphone was called, has turned 20. At that time, it was only available in the US and was initially priced at $900. The phone was co-developed by IBM and US cellular company BelSelf. It is said that around 50,000 handsets were sold, primarily to business people.

As reported by the Irish Times, “This phone was called Simon because it was simple and could do almost anything you wanted.” Simon had a stylus green LCD screen with a touch screen technology. With its unique software it allowed users to write notes, draw, update their calendar and contacts, send and receive faxes apart from allowing calls.

Charlotte Connelly from the London’s Science Museum was quoted saying, “This is the first time that a smartphone has all the basic components including a slot at the bottom which can help to access different applications such as mapping ones, spreadsheets and games. One can safely say it really was a forerunner to the iPhone.”

It was about 23cm long and weighed 50 grams.