The first smartphone: 1994's IBM Simon
A DOS powered, touch-screen smartphone from 1994? Yes, please.
The iPhones and (multitude of) Android smartphones have absolutely dominated the smartphone world for the last decade.
They both have achieved enormous success through a combination of polishing existing technology and the leveraging of market dominance and positioning (and more than a little flashy marketing).
But neither of those were the first smartphones.
Years before either Android or iOS existed… we had multiple smartphone systems.
Blackberries. Danger Hiptop. Various attempts from Nokia.
And even smartphones that, functionality wise, closely mirror what we have today — being able to install applications, web browsers, games, the works — powered by PalmOS and Windows CE (sometimes known as PocketPC / Windows Mobile).
But, you know what? None of those were the first smartphones either.
In 1996 there was a DOS based “Palmtop” that combined with a Nokia 2110 cell phone to produce an early “smartphone” : the OmniGo 700LX. (Yes. A DOS-based smartphone. It was absolutely real and it was built on top of the HP 200 LX line.)
As cool as that HP OmniGo 700LX was — and as amazing as it was for 1996 — you want to know something?
It wasn’t the first smartphone either.
The first smartphone to ship was the IBM Simon Personal Communicator (but we usually just call it the “IBM Simon”)… in 1994. And she was amazing.