Although Apple might like you to think that they invented the smartphone, in truth they’d been around for a decade or so before the ubiquitous iPhone. One successful early example is the Nokia 6600, barely recognisable as a smartphone today… but it certainly ticked all the boxes fifteen years ago.
The Nokia 6600 took a lot of technologies that were quite new and put them all in a single high-end device. Firstly though this ran the Symbian operating system which meant that users could install native applications on it (using a PC and a cable). It came with a relatively large 2.2” 176 x 208 pixel display, had a highly noticeable VGA resolution camera on the back (capable of taking video clips), it came with a multimedia player, MMC expandable memory, Bluetooth and it supported GPRS data.
You could read email and browse the web (slowly) and Symbian at the time had all sorts of applications available for it. For the time, the Nokia 6600 was an advanced piece of kit, and it was quite successful in sales terms, shipping 2 million units. Today it is largely forgotten, but good examples start at just £30 or so for collectors.
Image credit: Nokia
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