IBM Simon

IBM SimonPeople say that you never forget your first, regardless of what you are referring to. Well, this rule doesn’t really apply to technology, since things change so fast that we could easily forget who did it first, maybe thanks to a lot of people copying the said feature or technology or a company with more muscle launching the same feature, only slightly improved and getting all the glory *coughing* Apple *coughing*

Have you ever asked yourself, which was actually the first smartphone? Maybe some of you have but this piece seeks to get answers to the universe most deep questions – just kidding, this list only has answers to basic who did it first questions about smartphone features, anyway enjoy!

First Phone with a Touchscreen Display

IBM Simon

You will hear Apple fanboys tell you that the iPhone was it but that’s not true. The iPhone wasn’t even the first phone to feature a capacitive touchscreen that could be operated by your fingers, despite the fact that they popularized it. The first phone to even feature a touchscreen, regardless of how terrible it was and the fact that it could only be operated by a stylus, was the IBM Simon.

The display measured 4.5 inches by 1.4 inches and aside from its calling capabilities, you could also use the Simon to send and receive emails, faxes, and pages.

First Android Smartphone

HTC Dream

The only place Apple fanboys cannot claim they were first. Most Android enthusiasts know the answer to this. It’s quite simple and straightforward, the HTC Dream was the first smartphone to run on Android software. To be precise, the device ran on Android 1.6 Donut – I bet most of you didn’t know that. It also had a 3.2-inch display, 3MP camera, 192MB RAM and a 1150mAh battery.

First Fingerprint Scanner on a Phone

Pantech GI100
Pantech GI100

Before we got to the age of iris scanners and 3D face unlock, we first got fingerprint scanners and the first one on a phone was rather berserk, if I may say. The Pantech GI100 was the first phone to feature a fingerprint scanner and it was inbuilt right at the centre of the T-9 keyboard. Well, the technology has improved so much that we now have smartphones with fingerprint scanners embedded underneath the display, and this crown goes to the Vivo X20.

First Notch

Essential PH1
Essential Phone

The whole of 2018 so far, we have seen notches launch left, right and centre and despite all these notches resembling the iPhone X, it was not the first device to feature a notch. Since we first got an 18:9 aspect ratio display on the LG G7, smartphones with this aspect ratio – or a slightly modified version of it have been seen popping up all over. Users want bigger displays but smaller bezels and form factors and this led to the use of the notch.

Well, the first smartphone to give us a notch was the Essential Phone 1, the phone to popularize the notch was the iPhone X and that’s settled.

First Android Smartphone in Kenya

Huawei U8220

We already know which was the first Android smartphone but do you know the first Android smartphone to launch in Kenya? That was the Huawei U8220. I can imagine most of you thought the Huawei Ideos was it but actually, that one came after the U8220. The device was launched in July 2010 and at that time, it cost over Kes.25,000. Unfortunately, this phone was not as popular as the Ideos came to be but we respect the old guy for paving the way.