Do you remember this song?
The video quality dates back to 2003 as well
It was a big hit back in 2003, when I was in my final year of primary school. During that year I also wrote a speech for our school’s public speaking contest about what the world would look like in 2010. Funnily enough, I didn’t talk about flying cars or teleportation, but I remember mentioning what phones would look like in 2010. We only had one in our household at the time; one of those gigantic bricks that you could hardly call ‘mobile’, with a thin antenna that extended all the way to the other side of the house (that’s only slightly exaggerated).
The evolution of the mobile phone over the past 30 odd years is quite amazing, something that my 10-year-old brain definitely couldn’t have predicted. And if the current revolution is anything to go by, the Year 3000 will be pretty awesome for our “great-great-great-granddaughters”.
Phones have evolved so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up. Who knows what it would look like in the year 3000? Would we even still call it a phone?
When looking at the evolution of mobile phones, I really can’t help but feel sorry for Nokia. Although I’m attached to my iPhone like there’s no tomorrow, I have to admit Nokia have made some pretty wacky phones back when they were the most popular kid on the block. Ones with keyboards shooting out either end of the screen and others in the shape of lipstick with an in-built mirror.
And my favourite: the Nokia 3200 with DIY covers and funky keys. It should be worth a lot more than the mere $7.99 eBay is selling it for nowadays. It was the Nokia 3310’s funkier sister; another phone that was so immensely popular back in the day. Apple is probably jealous of Nokia’s ability to design a phone that doesn’t break the second you stare at it for too long. Oh yes, the good old days when your heart didn’t skip a beat the second your phone fell out of your pocket.
Move over Moving Media
Not only has the shape and size of mobile phones evolved, the way in which we use them has changed the way we see and interact with the world. Gerard Goggin, Professor of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney states that “mobility has become prominent in how societies are constituted” in ways that seemed unimaginable back in 2003.
McLuhan’s idea that the “medium is the message” also resonates with this, as the features of mobile phones have changed the way we interact with our surroundings. For instance, Goggin states that video cameras on mobile phones allow users to remix and share their own content, which in turn has changed the way people perceive broadcast media footage. In pre-mobile media times, we probably would have questioned a television news broadcast’s credibility if they showed us grainy, pixellated footage. But now, we don’t think twice about this as audience-generated footage has become an integrated part of news storytelling.
Then, after the fall of Nokia and the rise of Apple, the mobile market was again revolutionised with the introduction of apps. Apparently there are some 350,000 apps in the Apple Store, making mobile media the face of the contemporary Internet, as according to Goggin. He states:
“The mobile has quickly established itself as a global technology, but, more than this, has become a new medium in its own right.”
This is a really interesting insight, as not only is the mobile market revolutionising itself with new smartphones being launched with even wackier features than its predecessor (unless it’s an iPhone), but the mobile market is even more so revolutionising the entire media landscape. Something that I definitely didn’t think was possible back in 2003. Let’s just hope that Apple steps up their revolutionising game so we don’t get stuck with bad reception and limited battery life in 987 years time.
Goggin, G (2013), ‘ Changing Media with Mobiles’, in J. Hartley, J. Burgess and A. Bruns (eds) A Companion to New Media Dynamics. London: Blackwell Publishing Ltd pp 193-208
- The Most Iconic Mobile Phones (jacamoblog.co.uk)
- 7 Reasons to Miss Your Old Nokia Brick Phone (mashable.com)
- Nokia Makes Fun of iPhone 5C/5S on Twitter, Public Then Makes Fun of Nokia (dailytech.com)
- RIP Nokia! Microsoft says it won’t use Nokia brand name for future Smart Phones (retrify.com)
- The Evolution of Nokia Cell Phones in 49 Pictures (techeblog.com)
- Who invented the first mobile phone? (e2save.com)