Happy Birthday: The text message turns 20 years old today

By on December 3, 2012, 9:30 AM

One of the most popular means of modern communication is celebrating its 20th birthday today. The very first text message was sent from a PC to a mobile phone on December 3, 1992, by then 22-year-old Neil Papworth over the Vodafone network in the UK.

This first text message, a precursor to the SMS that many of us now use on a daily basis, simply read “Merry Christmas.” As The Verge points out, the concept of the SMS was conceived a few years earlier but Papworth’s message was the first known text message to be sent to a handset.

The first true SMS to be sent between two phones didn’t take place until a year later in December 1993 on a GSM network between two Nokia phones. Nokia was one of the first manufacturers to fully deploy text messaging on their phones.

Other’s like Samsung quickly followed suit using a type of predictive text known as T9, which stans for Text on 9 keys. This technology ultimately led to a text messaging phenomenon that reached most parts of the world as early as the year 2000.

Data shows that around six trillion text messages were sent on a global scale in 2010. That number is expected to increase to around eight trillion by the time 2013 rolls around at the end of the month. It’s unclear if texting will continue to grow as alternative services like RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger, Apple’s iMessage and specialty apps continue to reinvent the way people send and receive written communication over their phones.




User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Cool I remember that day well

1 person liked this | Pan Wah said:

The very first text message was sent from a PC to a mobile phone on December 3, 1992, by then 22-year-old Neil Papworth over the Vodafone network in the UK.

I wonder if the message has arrived yet?

Shegunna_Blow Shegunna_Blow said:

Bullcrap, try 177yrs old.

"While a professor of arts and design at New York University in 1835, Samuel Morse proved that signals could be transmitted by wire. He used pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet, which moved a marker to produce written codes on a strip of paper"

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Bullcrap, try 177yrs old.

"While a professor of arts and design at New York University in 1835, Samuel Morse proved that signals could be transmitted by wire. He used pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet, which moved a marker to produce written codes on a strip of paper"

It's called annual anniversary. Even the foundation of cellular phones couldn't skip a year of celebrating.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.