The Nokia 9000 Communicator —

Nokia's smartphone: 25 years since it changed the world

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2021-08-16 09:30:05

The Nokia 9000 Communicator — "the office in your back pocket" — was a smartphone even before the word was invented. It has been 25 years since it revolutionized the market.

Nokia presented its 9000 Communicator at the CeBIT 1996 computer fair in Hanover, Germany, and launched on August 15 of that year. "The office in your back pocket" added to the IBM Simon from 1994 and the HP OmniGo 700LX from March 1996.

The 9000 Communicator was a smartphone even before the word had been invented. For a decade, the device was ​​what a smartphone was supposed to look like. After the Communicator, Blackberry perfected the idea — until Apple's iPhone with its multitouch screen in 2007 came along.

Opened like a minilaptop, with a keyboard and a black-and-white display with a diagonal of  just 11.5 centimeters (4.5 inches), the retrofuturistic-looking device was made famous by actor Val Kilmer in the remake of the film The Saint.

The 9000 Communicator was the first device to offer a combination of keyboard, quality screen, and business and internet software in one package. It had for the first time all of the features of a computer on a phone, putting email, web browsing, fax, word processing and spreadsheets into a single pocketable device.

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