One of the first smartphones was the STC Executel in 1984.

The Executel, dubbed the “world’s most sophisticated executive communications device,” combined a phone and a computer, replete with an full QWERTY keyboard and a 5-inch CRT monitor in black and white. It possessed an enormous amount of storage space ( 235 phone numbers ), a useful calendar feature, and could be used as a notebook or an electronic journal (for 20 years, according to the advertising jargon). The information was saved on a mini-cassette tape. This was a major innovation because it was 1984 and the era of powerful consumer electronics was just getting started.

The Executel phone included a “hands-free” mode that allowed you to use all of its sophisticated computing features at once. All “top executives” needed shortcut keys for quick and simple access to the calendar’s features in order to appropriately organize their meetings and appointments.

STC called it an describes a desk communication telephone as “integrated, multipurpose, network-linked, public-data.” It was restricted to whatever dial-up networking was available at the time since it was hard-wired to a landline. An advertisement boasts of having a single button that can dial and redial numbers. This was a great invention if you ever had to use a rotary phone.

Only 5,000 of them were sold in the UK for roughly 1,400 pounds, claims YouTuber Techmoan. It was never offered for sale in the US.


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