Back then, the organizer segment was reserved for the business market and bringing PDAs and phones together into one device was just beginning with technologically fascinating but very consumer unfriendly results. These devices were usually big and bulky and difficult to carry around and operate with a single hand. In 2000, while Nokia was banking on the QWERTY keyboard and a huge colour screen with their Communicator line of which 9210 was a fresh representative, Ericsson preferred a different approach, one aimed at portability and at bringing the PDA dream into a phone’s size footprint. It skimped on the QWERTY keyboard, but had a generously sized touchscreen which could be stowed away when not needed. It was the R380 and it was the first of a new type of the devices: the smartphone. And being the innovators that they are, Ericsson seized the moment and coined this new term for everyone to get acquainted with.
There was a time when the mobile European phone market was dominated by names such as Nokia, Ericsson or Siemens, some of which have been lost to history. It was a prolific time for innovation, a time when many of the technologies and paradigms that we take for granted today came to be and took shape and form. And many of them have been birthed in Ericsson’s R&D labs and were first seen on their phones and devices.