evolution of the mobile phone by docomo
evolution of the mobile phone by docomo evolution of the mobile phone by docomo
nov 17, 2012

evolution of the mobile phone by docomo

chronologically organized display of mobile phones produced by docomo over the past 20 yearsimage © designboom



japanese communications company NTT docomo celebrates its 20th anniversary with an exhibition showcasing the evolution of mobile phone culture starting from 1987 to the present day. the extensive chronological display of cell phones on view at tokyo designers’ week, offered a visual documentation of the progress made in terms of size, shape, form, color and materials used in the design of today’s mobile devices.



 from 1987 through to 1997timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 1997 through to 2000timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 2000 through to 2003timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 2003 through to 2005timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 2005 through to 2007timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 2007 through to 2009timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 2009 through to 2010timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



from 2010 through to 2012timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



continuing on from 2012timeline of cell phones from the exhibition edited by designboom



an animation of all the cellphones made to date
video © designboom



image © designboom


mobile phone (TZ803B)released in february 1989image © designboom



dora picture book (316S)released in april 1998image © designboom



WRISTOMOlaunched in may 2003image © designboom




P253ireleased in november, 2004image © designboom



kids’ phone F801ireleased in december, 2007image © designboom



SH-04Blaunched in december 2009image © designboom



touch wood SH-08Creleased in march 2011image © designboom

  • Wow they sure have come a long ways dude.

    veetann says:
  • Either my tablet is screwing everything up, or that chart is uber confusing.

    Zack says:
  • Its not you, the chart is very confusing. I have no idea what is going on.

    Confused user says:
  • This is really amazing… it shows who mobile phones have developed and clearly shows that iPhone is just another phone following the industry. Samsung should use this pictures in their law-suit against apple to show that apple really didn’t come up with much.

    Anon says:
  • Nope, I couldn’t figure it out either on my desktop.

    Tyler says:
  • History of mobile photography squeezed into one app. It lets you take photos with first phone cameras: http://youtu.be/DUh2zAQVWQY

    Mateusz says:
  • Yea, the chart is worthless, looks like it does down, but then somewhere you have figure our where to go up and to the right again.

    Kane says:
  • it’s a japanese diagram, it doesn’t go left to right top to bottom like you’re used to.

    sam says:
  • That chart is the antithesis of good design – interesting useful information made utterly confusing and off putting.

    The tiny fingernail sized images, the mass of white space, the distracting reflection, the schitzo layout “hey it’s scrolling down, nope, now read across, now down again.”

    Guy says:
  • The chart is meant to be read one column at a time, top to bottom. However, it seems the chart is actually a few consecutive ones stitched together…. so you have to read down a certain number of lines, then jump back to the top, etc. then do the same thing starting with the middle of the chart. Although it’s not clear where the breaks are.

    RM says:
  • The phones go down and then to the right in order of time. The chart is paged several times, each page is 7 phones tall and then it wraps back to the left. There is no marker for pages but the first one is obvious, the marker for 1994 is at the bottom of the page since it’s in the 7th row.

    Dan says:
  • @ confused user:

    what a twisted mind that yours!
    Poor fandroid!

    me says:
  • Why 2007 is after 2008? O_o

    Isabel says:
  • @Isabel

    That’s according to korean (i.e. Samsung) calendar.

    Mike says:
  • Yep fucking terrible design. someone with time please re-make this chart well.

    aaron shegrud says:
  • WOW! Very cool to see all these images in one place. We really have come along way since the “Zack Morris” brick phone.


    Trevor Duncan says:
  • dear designboom readers,

    thank you for your feedback on the
    design of the timeline – we have updated
    the information to show the evolution more clearly.
    enjoy browsing through the history and try to
    see if you can find ones you yourself owned!

    designboom team

    lara db says:
  • In my country(Chile), the old cell’s are drop into the big box in the train stations.

    LEOWORKS says:
  • The chart goes from top to bottom then left to the next column.

    X says:
  • The chart goes from top to bottom then right to the next column.

    X says:
  • It would be great if you click on these to get high res images of the collections. I feel that seeing tiny pixelated phones does not effectively communicate a theme of design history. DESIGN IS IN THE DETAILS: so why not show them?

  • I cannot really tell from this post: too tiny pics and a huge number of phones.
    But the idea is very good. It requires a panel of curators that would define criteria (technology, aesthetic, popularity…etc…) and select the most significative 100 units in the 25 y history of mobile phones.
    Alternatively in this above collection have a map (underground style) to visit the exhibition according to curated criteria.
    Less is more.

    Raphael says:
  • Dude!! That’a awesome! Where can I download a high quality picture of all those phones!?!

    Fab says:
  • Good job.
    I appreciate reading your blog.
    I am looking forward reading more of your articles.
    The subject is well covered.
    I encourage you continue writing.
    I agree with you on most points.

  • I am extremely inspired together with your writing abilities as smartly as with the structure for your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to look a great blog like this one nowadays..

    mobile site says:

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