7 questions on mobile phones

7 questions on mobile phones

It's been 40 years since the first public mobile phone call was made by Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola. Now there are almost as many mobile phone subscriptions in the world as people. Test yourself on the history of mobile phones.


1.) Multiple Choice Question

Cooper made the first public wireless phone call walking along Sixth Avenue in New York City on 3 April 1973. But whom did he ring?

Martin Cooper
  1. His wife
  2. His boss
  3. His rival

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Ten years later the world's first commercial handheld mobile phone, dubbed the Brick, went on sale for an eye-watering $3,995. How much heavier than the world's thinnest 3G mobile was it?

Skier iwith the Brick
  1. Three times
  2. Eleven times
  3. Eighteen times

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The first text message was sent by a 22-year-old engineer more than 20 years ago. What did it say?

text message on phone
  1. Happy Easter
  2. Merry Christmas
  3. Hello world

4.) Multiple Choice Question

The Nokia tune is arguably still the most recognised mobile ringtone. What's its origin?

Nokia phone
  1. A 1902 composition by a Spanish classical guitarist
  2. An oboe concerto by Handel
  3. A computer-generated tune by Nokia

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Philippe Kahn is credited with creating the first camera phone and transmitting the first publicly shared photo in 1997. What was the photo of?

taking pictures on phone
  1. His daughter
  2. His dog
  3. His hand

6.) Multiple Choice Question

The most expensive telephone number sold at auction cost 10 million Qatari Riyals (then 1.46m; $2.75m). What was the number?

telephone number
  1. 11-11-11-11
  2. 5537-8008
  3. 666-6666

7.) Multiple Choice Question

Many associate modern phones with apps. When is the OED's first recorded use of the word?

  1. 1985
  2. 1998
  3. 2007


  1. It was his rival, Joel Engel, who was head of research at Bell Labs and also committed to developing the first mobile phone.
  2. It's 11 times. The Brick, a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, weighed 785g (28oz) and measured a colossal 300 x 44 x 89mm (13 x 1.75 x 3.5in). According to the Guinness World Records, the world's thinnest 3G mobile phone, Samsung's Ultra Edition 8.4 Z370, weighed just 71g (2.5oz).
  3. It's Merry Christmas. The first text message was sent by Neil Papworth on 3 December 1992. He sent Vodafone's Richard Jarvis the festive greeting on Jarvis's Orbitel 901 mobile phone.
  4. It's a phrase from a 1902 composition by Spanish classical guitarist and composer Francisco Tarrega, called Gran Vals. At one point, it was estimated that the Nokia tune was heard about 1.8 billion times per day worldwide.
  5. It's his newborn daughter, Sophie. The entrepreneur shared photos from the maternity ward where she was born with thousands of friends and associates around the world.
  6. It's 666-6666. The number was bought by an anonymous Qatari bidder during a charity auction hosted by Qatar Telecom in Doha on 23 May 2006, according to Guinness World Records.
  7. It's July 1985, when Info World wrote: "One step in that direction is Apple's recent beta testing of the new programming tools called Mac App." Apple launched its colourful iMacs in 1998, and the iPhone in 2007, which sent the word into the mainstream.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Out of service

4 - 6 : Due an upgrade

7 - 7 : Unlimited calls

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down)

You can follow the Magazine on Twitter and on Facebook

More on This Story