original cell phone designer

updated 4/11/2005 6:55:44 PM ET
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"The brick" weighed 2 pounds, offered just a half-hour of talk time for every recharging and sold for $3,995.

Clunky and overpriced?

Not in 1984, when consumers lined up in droves to buy the first cellular phone as soon as it hit the market. And certainly not to Rudy Krolopp, lead designer of the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X.

Krolopp, now 74 and retired, still gets a "warm fuzzy feeling" thinking about the DynaTAC and knowing that "a handful of us did something that was really significant."

This brick took over a decade to get to market.

Krolopp was assigned the project by Martin Cooper, who ran Motorola's research and development effort in wireless and was ultimately dubbed the father of the cell phone by then-CEO Robert Galvin. Both Cooper's and Krolopp's names are on the original patent along with that of John Mitchell, former head of the company's communications division.

"Marty called me to his office one day in December 1972 and said, 'We've got to build a portable cell phone,'" Krolopp recalled. "And I said 'What the hell's a portable cell phone?'"

Read the complete story here.

 

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