Happy Birthday SMS!

December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday SMS

Do you still remember the first time you sent an SMS? I don’t know exactly the date but it was around October of 1998 when my parents handed me my very first cellular phone. I had no idea why but I was a senior in high school then. My sister who’s a junior in the university also got her’s. Back then, cellphones were expensive but what we had were the $200 phones with no contract. I thought maybe they just wanted us to be reachable just in case. (Those were the days…)

It’s been more than a decade and the cellphone industry went through many innovations. I don’t send SMS that much because I am online most of the time but I still have my iPhone 4 with me. I don’t think I’ll ever switch to another brand or another OS (read: Android) but I don’t think I’ll upgrade my phone too regularly. I only had an iPhone 3G and this iPhone 4 and I have no plans of getting an iPhone 5. It depends though if I can get it for free. I plan on keeping the iPhone 4 never mind if it won’t be easily updated to future iOS versions. I think the iPod touch will be enough.

Amazing how the mobile industry has revolutionized. SMS, the Short Messaging Service feature of cellphones, is an important feature although it’s not as popular as before no thanks to the growing mobile Internet. But did you know when it all began? The first SMS was sent twenty years ago in December 3, 1992 by Neil Papworth, a test engineer for Sema Group in Newbury, Berkshire. He sent a “Merry Christmas” message to Vodafone employee Richard Jarvis’ phone from a PC. That was the first text.

The next one wasn’t sent until after seven years…in 1999. I was right, I was one of the first!

Today, more than 8 trillion SMS messages are sent each year. Statistics have changed over the years but the busiest texters today are the teenagers.

So…a very Happy Birthday to SMS! You’ve come a long way. And yes, thank you!


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