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Innovation and Commercialisation: A Brief History of the Mobile and Smartphone

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Added on  2021-10-29

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This assignment covers Learning Outcome 1&2 (LO1, LO2) of Unit 8: Innovation and Commercialisation. The history of technological change in smartphone industry is bound with initial radical breakthroughs (inventions) followed by incremental improvements (innovations). The assignment requires highlighting such inventions and innovations and determining the difference between (1) inventions of technological breakthroughs and (2) major innovations and (3) minor/incremental innovations. The different sources of innovations related to the product of Motorola MicroTAC 9800x (1989), IBM’s Simon (1994) are analyzed.

Innovation and Commercialisation: A Brief History of the Mobile and Smartphone

   Added on 2021-10-29

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Unit Code, Number and Title M/508/0494 RQF level 5 - Unit 8: Innovation and Commercialisation
Semester and Academic Year Semester 1, Academic year 2019 - 2020
Unit Assessor(s) Pham Quang Ngoc / Bui Thu Van
Assignment Number and
Title IC A1.1: Invention, Innovation, Diffusion (Assessment 1 of 2)
Issue Date Monday, October 21st, 2019
Submission Date 10.00 am on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
IV Name Phan Thi Thuc Anh
IV Date Monday, October 21st, 2019
Student name
NEU Student ID Pearson ID
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Innovation and Commercialisation: A Brief History of the Mobile and Smartphone_1
Submission format and Instructions:
This assignment (Assessment 1 of 2) covers Learning Outcome 1&2 (LO1, LO2).
This is an individual assignment.
The submission format is in the form of a written assignment.
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guiding posted on Moodle.
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Roman 13 font size and 1.5 spacing.
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Unit Learning Outcomes:
LO1: Explain the context for innovation and determine the difference between invention and
LO2: Explain the different types of innovation
Assessment Brief and Guidance:
Scenario and activities:
A brief history of the mobile and smartphone
Smartphones have irrevocably changed our lives. Mobile internet access allows employees to work
from anywhere, while countless apps help people file their taxes, track their spending, or simply stay in
touch with old friends.
But how did our pocket computers get their start?
Innovation and Commercialisation: A Brief History of the Mobile and Smartphone_2
Figure 1. A brief history of mobile phone 1973-2007
Discounting earlier technologies like the unreliable WWI wireless field telephone [1], the accepted
birthday for the cellular telephone is April 3, 1973 [2]. Standing near a 900 MHz base station in
midtown Manhattan, undoubtedly surrounded by bell bottom jeans and crocheted midi-dresses [3],
Motorola employee Martin Cooper dialed the number of Bell Labs in New Jersey.
We don’t know exactly what was said on this call. We do know that Cooper used the Motorola
DynaTAC 8000x [4], a product that wouldn’t go on sale to the public for another decade. But that call
was the beginning of a mobile revolution. By 1979, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) introduced
the first ever (analog) 1G phone service [5] in Tokyo.
Although NTT gave Japanese consumers the first access to mobile phone service, it was several years
before the technology moved into the mainstream worldwide. On October 13, 1983 [6], Ameritech
Mobile Communications became the first company to launch a 1G phone network in the US, starting
with Chicago. On March 13, 1984 [7], the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x of Cooper’s call finally went on
sale—for $3,995.
The 8000x wasn’t very mobile—it weighed almost two pounds and took ten hours to charge for thirty
minutes of talk time. By April 25, 1989 [8], the Motorola MicroTAC 9800x [9] showcased true
mobility with its (relatively) compact size and flip-up mouthpiece. Of course, they both still had
antennae, and could only be used to place calls.
The 1989 Motorola MicroTAC 9800x, with a flip-up mouthpiece and retractable antenna, weighed less
than one pound and was designed to fit in a shirt pocket. Courtesy Redrum0486.
Figure 2. The first mobile phone worthy of the name.
Innovation and Commercialisation: A Brief History of the Mobile and Smartphone_3
Appropriately for a decade that saw the reunification of Germany and the official formation of the
European Union, the first GSM call was made in 1991. The GSM standard established a common
network across Europe and provided users with uninterrupted service even when they crossed borders.
The first GSM phone, the Nokia 1011, which went on sale November 9, 1992 [10], also introduced text-
And here’s where we preview the smartphone. When IBM’s Simon [11] was released on August 16,
1994, it was a bit early to the game. You could send email (and faxes!), sketch on its touchscreen with
the included stylus, and consult the calendar, world time clock, and address book. But you couldn’t surf
the web—after all, NCSA’s Mosaic [12] browser had only appeared one year earlier and home
computers were just starting to adapt.
Figure 3. What was the First Smartphone: This video takes a look at some little known history. The
IBM Simon personal communicator really was well ahead of its time. [13]
While IBM’s Simon was a bold entry into the market, it wasn’t exactly the smoothest starting point for
Innovation and Commercialisation: A Brief History of the Mobile and Smartphone_4

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