The DynaTAC (Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) family of devices are acknowledged as the first widely available mobile phones and are true icons of the 1980s. They were the brainchild of Motorola’s Dr Martin Cooper and Rudy Krolopp (both of whom worked for John Mitchell).
The 8000X was the culmination of 15 years work by these engineers and others, becoming the first truly hand-portable mobile phone on the market.
The 8000X was first approved for use in the US by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in September 1983. In 1984 it came onto the market with a hefty price tag of $3,995 (equivalent to $11,500 / £9,300 in 2023). It offered 30 minutes of talk-time on a single charge (which would take 10 hours!) and weighed 790 grams.
It was affectionally known as the “brick phone” and is famous for being used by the character Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street in 1987.
In the UK, the 8000X became synonymous with so called “yuppies”, individuals with newfound wealth through working in well paid jobs in London – often in the stock market or advertising industry.
It remains a true icon in the mobile phone world and is an increasingly sought-after collectable.
An interesting piece of trivia is that Canadian Kosta Tsiriotakis claims to have made the last ever commercial call
on a DynaTAC 8000X in June 2007 just before his network operator, Rogers Wireless switched off its analog service.