When Phones Were Fun: Motorola StarTAC (1996)

To understand why the Motorola StarTAC became one of the most popular cellphones of all time, it helps to remember that before it came along … “mobile” phones? Well, they were basically bricks with sticks attached.

And not too long before that, they were literally the size of a suitcase! So when the Motorola StarTAC hit the scene in 1996 (twenty-five years ago!), sporting a footprint smaller than an audio cassette and a design straight outta Star Trek? Well, to say it upended the entire industry would be a massive understatement.

From clip-on accessories to unauthorized sequels to lawsuit-spawning knockoffs to branded companion products to bizarre revivals as late as the mid-oughts … it’s no exaggeration to say, 60 million sales later, that the Motorola StarTAC launched the era of fun phones.


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