DEL MAR, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thirty-five years ago today, the first ever public cellular phone call was made by Martin Cooper. Cooper, who invented the portable cell phone, placed that call on April 3, 1973 while he was the general manager of Motorola’s Communications Systems Division. That first call, placed to Cooper’s rival at AT&T’s Bell Labs from the streets of New York City, was the beginning of a revolution that has changed the lives of three billion people worldwide. A cell phone call is a call to a person in contrast with wired phone calls that are to a place.
“People are mobile,” said Cooper. “Given the choice, people will demand the freedom to communicate wherever they are, unfettered by the infamous copper wire. We vividly demonstrated that freedom back in 1973.”
He added, “In a time when there were no cordless or cellular phones, normally blasé New Yorkers gaped at the sight of me making a phone call while strolling down Lexington Avenue.” The first cell phone was mammoth by today’s standards – weighing two and a half pounds and was 10 inches long. The phone could be used for only 20 minutes before the battery died.
Although cell phones and service have come a long way in the past 35 years, Cooper and his wife, Arlene Harris were disappointed that cell phones were becoming unnecessarily complicated for many people. They decided to re-create the cell phone into a device that embraced the same simplicity as the original cell phone; a cell phone without a camera, MP3 player, or Web browser; a cell phone that was optimum for talking and listening.
Harris, herself a wireless and telecom industry veteran who has been referred to as the “First Lady of Wireless” and Cooper created the Jitterbug, a radically different cell phone and cellular service. The Jitterbug is now used by tens of thousands of people throughout the U.S.
Ms. Harris was recently inducted into RCR’s Wireless Hall of Fame – the first female innovator to receive that distinction.
“Cell phones and services are growing more and more complex every year,” said Arlene Harris, Jitterbug Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We created Jitterbug for those who still place value in what matters most when connecting with one another – talking on a clear connection as part of a complete simplified service.”
The Jitterbug cell phones and service, founded in 2006, fulfill Cooper’s original vision, a way to bring the freedom to make and receive calls to people who seek simplicity and have no use for the multi-purposed phones with cameras, music players and TV. Jitterbug’s mission is to make the technology of portable phones easy, personalized, and available to everyone.
Providing the benefits of cell phones, especially for safety and connecting with family, in simple, affordable and helpful ways is mission one for Jitterbug.
“Now, on the 35th anniversary of that first cell phone call, it’s exciting to see the Jitterbug hailed as ‘the simple cell phone and service alternative,’” said Cooper.
About Jitterbug Cell Phones and Service
Jitterbug’s breakthrough: smart cellular technology, intuitive functionality and services that create the ultimately simple cell phone experience. The Jitterbug is available in White and Graphite. What makes Jitterbug different is its easy to use simple “Yes” and “No” prompts without complicated icons or menus, intuitive voice dialing and even a dial tone. Bigger, backlit buttons and large text are easy to see; a patented ear cushion and hearing aid compatibility make the sound loud and clear.
Personal, affordable service is the hallmark of Jitterbug with live, friendly 24-hour operators who greet customers by name, make phone calls, provide directory assistance and add names to customers’ private phone lists. There are a range of service plans starting as low as $10 a month that require no contracts. And, Jitterbug specific phone functions can be turned on and off so each customer gets a Jitterbug with only what they want and nothing more.
About GreatCall, Inc.
GreatCall, creator of Jitterbug, was founded in 2006 by Arlene Harris, a 45-year veteran in wireless and the first woman inducted into the “Wireless Hall of Fame”, and Martin Cooper, the father of the first portable cellular phone. GreatCall’s vision is to deliver easy to use, helpful and affordable cellular phones and service, creating a new industry standard for simplicity. Customer-first policies and systems focus on personalization, convenience and comfort. Jitterbug, created with worldwide leader Samsung, is sold nationwide with excellent coverage in the US and Canada. GreatCall is located in Del Mar, CA. For more information, please visit www.jitterbug.com.