April 3 marked the 50th anniversary of a momentous phone call.
“On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper was standing in a street of New York when he made the first ever call on a true mobile phone, calling his chief rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel, presumably to gloat. The call, made on a prototype of what later became the Motorola DynaTAC, was brief, as Cooper later recalled. “I said ‘Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cellphone, a real, handheld, portable cellphone.’ There was a silence at the other end. I suspect he was grinding his teeth.”
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