When my son was 6 I used a Treo 650…

My son is 18 years old now and in 2006 we travelled to Orlando to take him to Disney for his 6th birthday.

It feels like an age ago, but is in fact just 12 years. Think about 12 years in the grand scheme of time and it is not much at all, but in a time when people criticise the lack of innovation in the mobile industry it occurred to me that the leap has been gigantic.

I was using a Tree 650 in 2006, a phone that required continual resets to manage the lack of dynamic memory. I could not get a mobile signal because none of the US mobile carriers could sell me a SIM that would work and yet it was a marvel of technology to me.

It was my alarm clock, my calendar, my photo album, games machine, camera (to a point), sat nav and of course it was my phone, in a time when texts and calls were still very important.

I was an early adopter and people laughed at my phone and my apparent obsession with it, but a couple of years later millions of eyes were opened by Apple with the first iPhone. All of a sudden people were talking about phones as PDAs and media players and I felt as if my early adopter personality was finally understood.

With the announcement of the Galaxy Fold, which some are calling the first true innovation in many years, I think about the past 12 years and how much has changed. A lot of what I do with my phone has not changed, but the way it works is a world away from 2006. It never slows down, it never crashes and I literally do countless different things every single day without even thinking about how impressive it is.

The idea of a folding phone is impressive indeed, but to me it is not even close to how much the mobile world has changed in the past 12 years. We should be grateful for what we have and enjoy the fact that we can do almost anything we want today with our phones, and in 12 years time we will likely still be moaning about the lack of innovation even though they will have improved beyond all that we can imagine today.

Be grateful.

Categories: Articles

3 replies

  1. I still have my 650, and I powered it up a few days ago.

  2. I had a Treo 650 as well. Seemed like the relatively perfect solution to having a Palm and a phone. Then I got to looking back. I bought my first Palm in 2000 and my first mobile phone in 2001. Yes I was a bit late to the party, but I didn’t see the need to be that connected.

    Thing is, that’s less than 20 years ago and seems like an eternity.

  3. I’m not sure why I missed the Treo… I had the Sony Clie and even did a color web browser on that- or rather an HTML viewer, I don’t think there was any networking involved. I think data fees were to much of a scary unknown.

    I had a SPH-i500 or similar for a bit, maybe the b+w version. A Palm flipphone was a cool cool concept, but the software was flakey (a first for me in Palm land) and the SMS was criminally bad. (texting was a hot mess on several USA providers for a long time – wonder if that’s where Verizon got its first early advantage)

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