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Did you know that Samsung once struggled to make mobile phones comparable to Motorola's?

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Did you know that Samsung once struggled to make mobile phones comparable to Motorola's?
While Samsung and Motorola are both big names in the mobile industry, there are huge differences between them. Samsung is currently the world’s largest mobile phone maker, generating a lot of cash from its phone business, while Motorola had troubles in the last years, this leading to its Mobility division being bought by Google, and (later this year) by Lenovo. But you probably already knew this.

What you may have not known is that, about two decades ago, Samsung was struggling to manufacture its first mobile phones, and, at first, it just couldn’t match the quality and performance of Motorola’s handsets from back then.

Of course, Motorola was a pioneer, having released the world’s first commercial mobile phone in 1983 (the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, a large and heavy device that weighed about 800 grams). So it’s probably safe to assume that not only Samsung, but most phone makers looked up to Motorola at some point in their history.

Samsung
Did you know that Samsung once struggled to make mobile phones comparable to Motorola's?
completed the development of its first mobile phone in 1991, and released various models in the next few years, initially only in South Korea. But the first devices were far from being great. It’s said that, in the early 90s, a Samsung engineer had witnessed a mountain climber making calls with a Motorola handset from the top of a mountain in Korea. The engineer then took a Samsung phone to the same location, but couldn’t make any calls, as the device had no connection at all there. This led to Samsung investing a lot more into research and development (including connectivity technology). In 1993, Samsung’s mobile phone division literally had the task of producing handsets “comparable to Motorola's by 1994, or Samsung will disengage itself from the mobile phone business."

Eventually, things got on the right path, and, in 1994, Samsung launched the SH-770 Anycall (pictured on the right). This was the first handset that the company’s execs were happy with. The SH-770 and other subsequent models helped Samsung dominate the South Korean mobile market starting the second half of 1995. Before that, Motorola was the leader in Samsung’s home country. Interesting times, isn't it?

Since Motorola had a great influence over Samsung and the mobile phone industry in general, we'll end this article with a promo video used by Motorola in the 80s, when the "cellular revolution" was only a dream of the future:

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posted on 31 May 2014, 15:46 16

1. Manti123 (Posts: 189; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Actually, The abscence of Nokia in the Android arena enabled Samsung to be the largest phone manufacturer.

So lucky Samy. Microsoft did a huge favor for you when they killed the legened Queen NOKIA

posted on 31 May 2014, 15:56 20

2. Aploine (Posts: 219; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


That queen died devoted to symbian

posted on 31 May 2014, 16:38 4

6. akki20892 (Posts: 3663; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Legend King Nokia. I guess.....

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 00:52 3

18. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


No. it's a queen. a sissy.

posted on 31 May 2014, 17:23 2

8. LeBrownJames (Posts: 158; Member since: 17 Mar 2014)


Actually half of that favor should go to Elop. He was the one who engineered Nokia's downfall.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 04:45 2

24. SayMobile (Posts: 45; Member since: 29 Jan 2014)


actually in around 2010 when nokia was still the leaders of the mobile phone industry and android was still young as a platform with samsung no where in the scene, nokia had released a statement saying " due to their amazing vertical integration samsung will dominate the android space in d near future" so keep calm fanboy and keep your irrelevant theories to yourself , its not d absence of nokia that has made samsung what it is today

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 05:40

25. T.Law (Posts: 362; Member since: 10 May 2014)


Nokia X and yeah, it sucks!

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 16:22

35. cncrim (Posts: 552; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Nokia didn't make the same choice as Samsung. If everyone know the future then it is no fun, because no innovation and competition.

Multi-dollar question: "Do you know what will be the next revolution product in electronic world?"

posted on 31 May 2014, 15:59 5

3. tatail (Posts: 226; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


I was really saddened and surprised at the same time when Nokia announced that they were not going to produce Android phones. I still remember my G1, man that device sucked but it was what started Android and look where things are.
I really think Nokia in Android arena would have made the competition more exciting.

posted on 31 May 2014, 16:05 5

5. Manti123 (Posts: 189; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


The competition would not have been more exciting, because Nokia would be a single dominant player. Like how is now happening with WP, or before with Symbian, featured phone, basic phones.

posted on 31 May 2014, 16:39 4

7. akki20892 (Posts: 3663; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


I agree.....Nokia shouldn't give any OEM chance to dominant in android.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 06:36 1

26. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Know there would've been Nokia 8series Android

Nokia Eseries Android

Nokia Xseries Android

Nokia Nseries Android

Nokia 9series Android

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 01:12

19. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


well now the King is dead. Long live the King.

posted on 31 May 2014, 16:04 2

4. bob_monkeywarts (Posts: 208; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


"...Only 30 ounces..." "...typing on an 'electronic' computer..."

posted on 31 May 2014, 17:41 2

9. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6745; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


I remember during the late 90s MOTOROLA RAZR was the #1 flip phone in the u.s. used to own the MOTOR KRZR myself most my very first phone was a NOKIA when we used to change the face plate with custom covers. that was before we have all these fan boys based phones. Phones were great back then and they were no law suits also.

posted on 31 May 2014, 18:01 2

10. redmd (Posts: 912; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Old Motorola phones have good quality cellular radios. I'm not so sure about their Android phones today.

posted on 31 May 2014, 19:46 3

12. grahaman27 (Posts: 350; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Moto x has best reception, the legend lives on.

http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/googles-moto-x-tops-lte-network-connectivity-test/2014-01-21

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 02:28

23. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


One reason I stay a Moto fan is because of this. And this is the reason why I dont like Samsung phones.

The more things change....the more they stay the same....

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 12:43 1

32. p0rkguy (Posts: 684; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


Late 90s? The RAZR didn't release til 2004.

posted on 31 May 2014, 18:57

11. androtaku (Posts: 201; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


so motorola was the first to make a phone!
samsung is junk because they not the first

posted on 31 May 2014, 20:14 4

13. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Luckily for Samsung, the iPhone was invented and they were able to steal all of its ideas and put into a cheaper package that was easy to hack and easy on the wallet so all the cheap bastards that couldn't pass AT&T credit check or afford an iPhone outright were able to now have a touch screen smart phone - and say to themselves over and over "this can do everythign the iphone can do, this can do everything the iphone can do, this can do everything the iphone can do" and they kept brewing hate against Apple to compensate for their sevire insecurity, projecting their weaknesses into an abstract company. Welcome to the modern era! xD

posted on 31 May 2014, 20:25

14. pokerc (Posts: 57; Member since: 24 May 2012)


Even though I love Android, you are right

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 01:15

20. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1904; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


And where do you think Apple copied their phone tech from? I'll give you a hint, it's the company the article is about.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 01:17 1

21. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


lmaoooo. what does the iFeaturePhone do? oh yes. it can play 480p videos on it's RETINA screen, it can take photos with a featureless camera app and of course download apps and have facebook. what an achievement. glad you guys now have the AMAZING control center. hey, it's innovation. now you can access the CALCULATOR quickly.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 12:16

29. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6745; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Apple also stole the design from SONY prototype phone. so everyone copies from each other. stop saying SAMUNG copies

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 12:40

31. p0rkguy (Posts: 684; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


AT&T credit check, what? If you have a device on the carrier you've already passed the credit check.
Easy on the wallet, what? Android is easier on the wallet, since when?

posted on 31 May 2014, 21:59 2

15. vijaysivakula (Posts: 170; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)


Now Motorola should sue Samsung because Samsung copied Motorola or as the article says wanted to develop mobiles as good as Motorola. So they must have mentioned Motorola in one of their internal mails / communication.

posted on 31 May 2014, 22:28 4

16. Leo_MC (Posts: 604; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


20 years later Samsung still can't produce a good phone.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 01:20 1

22. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


lmaooooooooooo. h*ll yeah they can't. while others can't even produce a phone without announcing losses and drama. #NumbersDontLie #WannabeBrands #OldPeopleRockASony.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 12:17

30. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6745; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


At least they can compete with Apple

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 14:32

33. Leo_MC (Posts: 604; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Can they realy?
Realy - realy?
How's that?

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 19:45

37. refillable (Posts: 689; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


Did you just woke up from 2008-2009?

posted on 31 May 2014, 23:04 1

17. techloverNYC (Posts: 425; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


Moto,Nokia, and blackberry bout to be things of the past in a couple of years.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 08:48

27. strikercho (banned) (Posts: 156; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


Well, do you know, phonearena, that Samsung still struggles to make better phones, than not only Motorola, but also Apple, Nokia and Sony? PS: Good to see Asian money well spent for comercial articles in PA.:)

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 19:47 1

38. refillable (Posts: 689; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


I think you are the one that gets paid, or that you're totally way behind the pack.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 11:22

28. zain1986 (Posts: 6; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


Ericsson also made some good phones in the 90's

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 16:17

34. cncrim (Posts: 552; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


All company will have it up and down. Look back in time all company has it moment sight Nokia with N lines line before the iPhone, Motorola with V lines in the early 2000, Blackberry Q line before iPhone, Sony with Erison line, and HTC early 2008 etc what happen to them now. Don't worry Samsung and Apple hater and lover, soon enough their faith will repeat.

posted on 01 Jun 2014, 18:13

36. Lauticol (Posts: 217; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


Funny how they wanted to put telephones in a car and nowadays you'd have to pay a ticket

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