Remember those pre-iPhone days when
Motorola made the hottest phone on the planet?It may feel like yesterday, but it was longer ago than you think. Same goes for a bunch of other insanely popular gadgets and apps.
Take a look at these old relics and try to remember what it was like being a kid.
Sega debuted in 1989 in North America and retailed for $189.99. The system went on to become one of the most popular game systems ever.
Fun Fact: In 1989, the unemployment rate was 5.3% and the cost of a first-class stamp was $0.25.
The Game Boy was released in 1989.
Three years after its initial release, the Game Boy had sold over 32 million units. The device paved the way for hand held games.
The Game Boy and Game Boy colour combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide.
Super Nintendo (SNES) was an instant success. Nintendo's initial shipment of 300,000 units sold out within hours in Japan, and the resulting social disturbance led the Japanese government to ask video game manufacturers to schedule future console releases on weekends.
Fun Fact: In 1990 the World Wide Web/Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML) was created by Tim Berners-Lee. The average cost of a Superbowl ad was $700,000.
The PlayStation was Sony's first big video game success.
PlayStation was the first video game console to ship 100 million units after 9 years and 6 months of its initial launch.
Fun fact: In 1994 the Wonderbra was also invented.
Nintendo 64 was the successor to the extremely popular Super Nintendo. The game system featured a unique controller and was released with two launch games, Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64.
N64 retailed for $199.
What was happening in 1996: Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas and Beauty Queen JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in her basement.
The StarTAC was the first clamshell phone released. The StarTAC was among the first mobile phones to gain widespread consumer adoption; 60 million StarTACs were sold.
Some key features of the Motorola StarTAC were:
- SMS text messages, although only the later digital models had the capability to send messages.
- Introduced clamshell design
- 88 grams (3.1 ounces)
- It could use an optional lithium-ion battery, at a time when most phones were restricted to lower capacity NiMH batteries
- Was one of the first cellular phones to introduce vibrate alert as an alternative to a ringtone
The first DVD players and discs were available in November 1996 in Japan and March 1997 in the United States.
DVDs revolutionised the way we viewed movies and interacted with personal media. By 2003 DVD sales and rentals topped those of VHS; during the week of June 15, 2003 (27.7M rentals DVD vs. 27.3M rentals VHS in the U.S.).
Fun facts about 1996: Febreze fabric refresher began test-marketing in 1996. By 1998, it was sold nationwide.
Tamagotchi is a keychain-sized virtual pet simulation game.
Users took care of a pet by virtually feeding it and walking it, just like a real animal. The game was extremely popular. As of 2010, more 76 million Tamagotchis have been sold worldwide.
It seems like everyone had this classic phone from Nokia.
The Nokia 6110 had three games including memory, logic, and the iconic Snake. It also had several other apps that seemed revolutionary at the time such as a calendar and a currency converter. The removable front cover meant you could customise your phone with a variety of colour options.
Fun facts about 1997: Purell was launched as a product for consumers. It had been used by health care workers since 1988; Titanic won 11 Oscars, and WebMD went online.
While AIM is not a gadget, it was an amazing piece of software that's still widely used today.
The software, maintained by AOL, Inc., at one time had the largest share of the instant messaging market in North America, especially in the United States (with 52% of the total reported as of 2006).
In March 1996, the Buddy List was opened up to AOL subscribers running Windows 95. The buddy List feature became available to Mac users sometime later in late 1996 to mid 1997. The standalone AIM became available to non-subscribers in 1998.
Napster is not a gadget either, but this platform changed the way the public viewed music and file-sharing.
Napster was originally founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service that emphasised sharing audio files -- typically music -- encoded in MP3 format.
Although the original service was shut down by court order, the Napster brand survived after the company's assets were liquidated and purchased by other companies through bankruptcy proceedings. Rhapsody now owns Napster.
The 3310 is known for having many features that were rare for the time. These include many utilities, such as a calculator, Nokia network monitor, stop watch and a reminder function. It had four games: Snake II, Pairs II, Space Impact, and Bantumi.
The phone was popular for text messaging because it allowed long messages three times the size of a standard text message (459 characters). It also featured threaded SMS writing called SMS Chat. The phone also has voice dialling for the quick dialling of selected numbers.
Fun fact: The top three movies in America in 2000 were, 1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 2. Cast Away 3. Mission Impossible II
The Xbox was Microsoft's first video game console after collaborating with Sega to port Windows CE to the Dreamcast console.
Microsoft repeatedly delayed the console, which was first mentioned publicly in late 1999 during interviews with Microsoft's then-CEO Bill Gates. Gates stated that a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times.
Fun facts: In 2001, Enron's accounting scandal cost investors something close to $60 Billion, and its accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, went out of business
The first iPod sported at 5 GB hard drive, long battery, and could hold 1,000 songs in your pocket. It only worked on Macs.
The original iPod retailed for $399. It was received with much scepticism, but eventually changed the way every listened to their music.
Fun Fact: Cost of a Superbowl ad in 2001: $2,100,000
The Motorola RAZR's futuristic appearance was one of its most impressive features. The flip phone, just half an inch wide, was thin enough to fit in a back pocket.
It was also very light at just 3.4 oz. The original RAZR was only available with an aluminium alloy, though later models offered metallic colours like red and blue.
Fun Fact about 2004: This was the year of Janet Jackson's famous 'wardrobe malfunction' during the Super Bow halftime show.
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