Apple did not really invent the all-touch phone

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Simon phone by IBM and Bellsouth in 1992

In 2007, Steve Jobs went up a stage and said somethings about the then smartphones in the market. Take out iPhone and Android now and see what remains, Symbian, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 6.5. And all of these business phones had keypads, at least most of them. And Jobs called them the mismatched keyboards and the smartphones, as a whole, “ugly”. That might have been justified by him, but he also said that Apple was the keypad-killer company by introducing the first all-touch phone. But unfortunately, he was wrong. The iPhone has never been the first all-touch phone.

Maybe we are learning about this a bit too lately, but we are at least learning it. There is a company be name Bellsouth, one of AT&T’s subsidiaries, which collaborated with IBM about a couple of decades ago in 1992, and gave birth to the Simon. The Simon was, of course, a phone, an all-touch phone. The first all-touch phone? Supposed to be. The phone had no physical buttons, and of course no keypad. The screen, gray-scale and no multitouch, adopted itself to the application that the user opened: calendar, contacts, calculator, phone calls, etc.

That is exactly what today’s smartphones do, and certainly what the iPhone did when it was introduced way back in 2007.  But obviously, it wan’t a hit. Maybe because of the price, maybe because of the fact that it was something too ahead technically for 1992, or for some reason. And Apple can certainly have the credits for adding a beautiful color display and the App Store concept to it, but not for the first all-touch phone.

Watch the video below for more info of the Simon. What do you think? Is this correct? Or do you oppose this theory? But whatever the case maybe, I would love to get my hands on this Simon. It’s a keeper.

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