When did you get your first mobile phone?

Mobile device ownership
  • Within the past year
  • 2 to 5 years ago
  • 6 to 10 years ago
  • 11 to 15 years ago
  • 16 to 20 years ago
  • more than 20 years ago
  • I’ve never had one
  • Other

0 voters

My first mobile phone was purchased in 1996, and I purchased after getting a flat tire at night time alone.

When my mom said “here, I have a better phone, you can have this one”. I was either late teens or early 20s. So, kids with smart phones, yeah, that does not thrill me. (And it wasn’t a smart phone!)

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I think I first got one about 25 years ago and it was like a brick - definitely not a pocket phone.

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I picked up a mobile phone in 1997 as my last hurrah after losing my job. It was a Nokia, nonfunctional flip, analog service of course. Then driving across the state, I smashed it in the door of my car and ruined the display. I took it back for repair, and they gave me a loaner. The loaner was nowhere near as sleek and sexy as the Nokia; it was a Motorola with a flip mouthpiece. Not a brick, but built and colored like one. It liked to disconnect every time I pressed a button.

Between the phone and my Acura Integra, my penchant for flying sport kites, and my 21-speed bicycle, I was the toast of the homeless shelter.


My husband got my first mobile phone for me as a Christmas gift about 1996 or '97. He had hung it towards the back of the Christmas tree and waited until we had finished opening up all of the presents before calling the number. The kids were in on it and found this hysterical as I hunted to find the source of the ringing. It was a Nokia slim silver and black bar phone that was practically indestructible. I loved the style as it fit in the palm of your hand and slipped easily into jeans pocket too. Advancing telecommunications technology eventually made it unusable since phone companies went on to 3G and 4G.

16-20 years ago, which also means I was a grown up person, but I simply had not needed one up until then. My bride had one for 10~ish years prior to that, which she pretended to share with me, but it was hers. :wink: We also worked for the same employer and shared a commute and were rarely apart, so one phone was all that was needed. It was when I took a new job at a different location that I got a phone of my own.

It was probably within a year or two after that that we got phones for the kids (in high school and middle school at that time)

We used Nextel phones with the two way feature that was like a walkie-talkie when I was a construction foreman back in the 90s. Soon after that I got my own awesome flip phone.

One of my friends surprised me with one of the little clamshell ones from Virgin Mobile in 2009, because he was tired of how hard it was for our group to get in touch with me on occasion.

(I’ve always used companies like VM since then…on StraightTalk now. They beat the expensive contracts hands-down, far as I’m concerned.)

It was a gift when I got my driver’s license. Cool gadget for me. But the ability to reach out if I had an emergency and let her know I arrived at my destination safely gave peace of mind to mom.

I happened some time between when cell phones were common but smartphones hadn’t hit the market yet.

Looks like I’m still the only Luddite in the crowd. Even this laptop I’m using belongs to my wife. At least I know how to answer a post, unlike her ringing cel phone. :grin:

I got my first mobile phone in January of 1998

Don’t remember what year it was but I had one of these…

I couldn’t afford a battery at the time so I just left it plugged in my dash.

I take it “pocket dialing” was never a problem with that one. :grin:

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Don’t have a “smart” phone, won’t have a “smart” phone. Hubby has a simple TracFone for emergencies on the road, and that’s it for wireless. The rest of our phones are land lines, stationery and portable. The portable range is limited to our house and the patio. Suits us both just fine.

I have stationery too. I send birthday and thank-you cards to people all the time. It’s becoming a lost art in the age of cell phones.


As a wise woman once said, if landlines were good enough for Jesus and the disciples they’re good enough for me.

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I got my first mobile phone when the Nokia first came out. I still have it in my useless tech drawer.. My first smart phone was a HTC Windows7 one…beautiful screen, great operating system and no apps that everyone was raving about. Next one was an iPhone…I wanted the apps and I’ve upgraded it to the latest every other year since. Especially when I got into iPhone photography. Last year we finally cut the landline and replaced it with an inexpensive Motorola Android and just ported our home number to it. I still had an open slot on my family plan with T-Mobile so I lost the landline bill and only increased the cell bill by ten bucks. I can now take my home number with me anywhere.

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