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Keep your family connected affordably with our new Kid Bundle - just $159. Shop now!

Connecting through the Decades

According to recent data from the GSMA Intelligence organization, there are a total of 5.16 billion people in the world that use mobile phones. That’s a lot of people connecting to others all over the planet. As we look back at how Palm has helped revolutionize the mobile industry and evolved from a PDA to a smartphone, we thought it would be cool to see how the world has been connecting over the decades. 

At Palm, we believe in the power of connection and at a time when connecting with our loved ones from a safe distance is more important than ever, we want to honor this tradition with a look back on the evolution of connection and the technology that has helped us do just that:


Johann Philipp Reis constructed the prototype ‘make-and-break’ telephones called the Reis telephone.


Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the invention of the telephone and is considered the oldest telephone in the world.

** Fun fact

The dictionary says it was Thomas Edison who put hello into common usage. He urged the people who used his phone to say "hello" when answering. His rival, Alexander Graham Bell, thought the better word was "ahoy.

The first telephone call was made on March 10, 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. He demonstrated his ability to "talk with electricity" by transmitting a call to his assistant, Thomas Watson. The first words transmitted were "Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you."

**Fun fact: William Gray is credited with inventing the coin payphone in the United States



The rotary telephone was invented. Almon Brown Strowger received a U.S. Patent for the development of the finger wheel and faceplate in 1892, better known as the rotary dial system.

** check out this video of kids reacting to the rotary phone in 2014



Rotary dial phones were introduced to the American consumer. Before that operators were used to connect lines to complete calls.



The first car phone was connected to a public switch network in the US as a response to the growing mobility of the American population.


On November 18, 1963, the first electronic push-button system touch phone dialing was introduced commercially by Bell Telephone. The inventor was John E. Karlin, from New Jersey.

** Fun fact: the first 911 call was made on February 16, 1968, in Haleyville, Alabama. 


Martin Cooper, an engineer from Motorola, developed the first hand-held phone.


The Palm PDA (personal digital assistant) was invented. The inventors of the PalmPilot were Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky and Ed Colligan, who founded Palm Computing in 1992.


The number of cellular telephone subscribers in the United States grew to 100 million, from 25,000 in 1984. Similar growth occurred in other countries as well, and as phones shrunk to the size of a deck of cards, an increasingly mobile society used them not only for calling but also to access the Internet, organize schedules, take photographs and record moving images.


** Fun fact: The Instagram app appears in the iOS app store on October 26, 2010

In 2010, the average handset screen size was merely 2.4 inches, growing to 2.6” in 2011, and 3 inches on average this year. In 2013, the average mobile phone had a screen of 3.3 inches, as more and more people switched to owning a smartphone. For the next 10 years, we saw phone screens grow in size from 6 inches and larger, coining a new term: Phablets.

**Fun fact: In 2010, approximately 2,109 billion messages were sent in total, up from 56 billion in 2004.


Palm enters the market with a screen size of 3.3”, bringing the trend of bigger screens in check and answering consumer cries for a smaller and more portable smartphone.


We've come a long way from the early phones of yesteryear to today's mobile phones. Now that we are halfway through 2020 and going through a pandemic that has changed how we connect and interact with people, the smartphone industry will now have to react to the changed mindsets of how consumers will both purchase and use their new phones. Did the pandemic kill the $1,000 smartphone and bring minimalism to the forefront? And will 5G connectivity be delayed or will it produce a new wave of new innovative smartphones? Will people still want a flexible folding screen? Check out a recent blog and piece penned by our co-founder, Dennis Miloseski, as he shared his POV on the topic.  

Keep checking back on Palm as we will continue to innovate and bring great products to the market, and check out our current summer deals going on now!