The first ever touchscreen phone known to us is the iPhone launched back in 2007 by Steve Jobs. But is iPhone the first ever touch screen phone? It is not iPhone IBM Simon is the first ever touch screen cellphone. It was released in the year 1992 by IBM as joined creation with Bellsouth.
Bellsouth is an American telecommunication company which focused to provide innovative phones and other internet services. In early 1992 the company put forward a plan to develop an electronic device that can act as both as a cellphone and personal digital assistant or PDA. The project was done to provide the voice communicationEtc. The most attractive feature of IBM Simon is that it is featured with touch screen, the first ever touch screen phone may the first smartphone
The first ever display that can identify and locate the position of touch in it. It helps to replaces the secondary or intermediate device which we had used to interact with any content within the phone. The IBM Simon’s screen responds to both fingers and stylus. The screen is very helpful to access the applications very quickly. Every task in the device became easier as it is acts immediately with one touch. It is the quickest method to interact with mobiles as it is very intuitive.
The introduction of mobile touch screen system in IBM Simon shows how can replaces the other pointing devices. It is not only provides the fastest way of interaction but also allows making large volume usage. That is it makes available extra space for the device with replace of pointing devices. Also many applications can include in the home screen itself so that anyone can tap the desired service right from there.
The IBM Simon also shows that touch screen mobiles are more durable than other one. It is because of the fact that touchscreen does not require additional devices to build up the service. So that it is not easily gets damaged. Touch screens can be protected easily and it gives more service life than any other system.
The Simon smartphone also shows that how touch screens can acts as universal support one as it provides different icons to access the applications. So that users can enjoy the service without having mention about their native language. It is also very comfortable to input something via touch based phone rather than that of keypad as it reduces the stress in the desired task.
The working prototype named angler by few IBM engineers was the inspiration to Simon cellphone project. The model was appreciated by national wide. After that the Bellsouth Company joined with the teams to turns the project into communicative device with touch screen. The core of the device is to makes the basic functions with a touch screen. The project turns into reality in the year 1992. That is 15 years before the first Apple iPhone get released.
The IBM Simon was a heavy phone. It had 8 inch height and 1.5 inch thickness. The Simon smartphone had a weight of 18 ounce. The phone also have memory card to stored limited amount of data in it. It was a bar type phone with long antenna. Simon had a 3 inch resistive touch screen with resolutions 160*293. The screen was of model passive monochrome of LCD system.
IBM Simon used the operating system ROM-DOS. It was compatible with MS DOS operating system. The reason for why IBM Simon is known as first ever smartphone is because of it is the primary cellphone that used up off a standard operating system along with third party applications support. The third arty application usage in IBM Simon was done by using a PC card. The downloading of desired applications into internal memory of the phone was also used at that time.
The Simon smartphone had a NiCD type removable battery. The battery gives out feasible backup. The phone had an internal memory of 1MB. It also had a 33 pin connector to get connected with external devices. So users could exchange the datas between the devices.
It supported basic applications like Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, To do, Task…Etc. Third party application usage are done through via PC cards and by downloading. IBM Simon went on sale in the year 1994. In short time more than 50000 units are sold out. It had a price tag of $899 at that time. The phone gets discontinued in just one year time. But IBM Simon had known as the ever fist smartphone and first touch screen phone.