History of Motorola

Motorola, a company that has gone through a fair amount of change in its 80-plus-years since it started, and for a company who is literally the inventor of the Mobile Phone.

It could  be said that Motorola is the unsung hero in the Mobile industry, the bottom line is Motorola has made its mark in history in spite of its ever changing structure.

Motorola Mobility perhaps somewhat predictable, was sold to Google in 2012, given the phone maker's portfolio developed almost exclusively around the search giant's mobile operating system, and then acquired by Lenovo in 2014.

The company is so big and diverse, if the Mobility wing had not been spun off from Motorola a year and a half prior, the sale would never have been possible. 

Priced at around $12.5 billion and rightfully so, this is one of the biggest company sales in history across all sectors.

Probably the biggest change for the company was when it was divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011 after having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, with Motorola Solutions considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, and Motorola Mobility as just a spin off.

Just to be sure The Motorola Dynatac 8000x is the one on the right Held by its inventor Martin Cooper

The company made history when it released the world’s first handheld Mobile Phone in 1984, it was called the M Dyna-TAC. Plus in addition It was also the first company to release the “flip phone” of which they called the MicroTAC and the “clam phone” named the StarTAC during the mid-1990s.

It was actually from 1973, that Motorola seriously made it's move towards Mobile Phones technology besides it naturally had all the prerequisites needed, this is the move that has defined Motorola as we know it today

At first showing off the DynaTAC (invented by Martin Cooper of Motorola who made the first private handheld mobile phone call in 1973)

Motorola MicroTAC
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000x

and displaying the Mobile Phone phenomenon to the world for the very first time. It was in 1984 that the so called brick-phone (was actually as big as one) started to make its way into the hands of consumers.

In Hanover, Germany In 1991, the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard was demonstrated by Motorola. And then went on to ,introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system in 1994, suffice to say that the phrase "The Worlds First" is very much associated with Motorola.

Motorola Startac
Motorola Pager

And then the MicroTAC was released by the end of the decade but what was most notable was the dramatic drop down in size and weight, and the movement to the flip phone format. 

Motorola really let loose and released the hounds in 1996 when they released the iconic StarTAC, it was probably one of the smallest and tiniest practical Phones ever released its the StarTAC that helped make the clamshell design very popular and was the first to incorporate the vibrate option on a Mobile borrowed from the company's pager side of its business.

Two thirds of Motorola's gross revenue by 1998 comprised of Mobile Phones however in the same year, Motorola was overtaken by Nokia as the world's biggest seller of Mobile Phones.

In 2009 Motorola released its first Android SmartPhone the Motorola DEXT MB220, and its first Android tablet came out in 2011.  Comparing the specs of the Motorola DEXT with one of Motorola's latest SmartPhones such as the Moto X4 which was launched in November 2017, one can see that they are quite different but yet similar despite the 8 year release gap between them, but whats carried on here is still excellent with tech advancements for better and improved Mobile user experience.

The Motorola DEXT MB220, the first Motorola Android SmartPhone

Motorola DEXT MB220 is a device with a dimensions of 114 x 58 x 15.6 mm (4.49 x 2.28 x 0.61 in),

screen size is 3.1 inches resolution of 320 x 480 pixels and a weight of 163 grams, .

It has a 528 MHz ARM 11 processor, Qualcomm MSM7201A chip-set, a graphics card Adreno 130, a RAM memory 256 MB RAM and an internal memory of 1 GB. operating system Android v1.5 (Cupcake) from the factory.

DEXT MB220 supports frequency bands GSM and HSPA.

This device is Also called the Motorola CLIQ in USA

 As a Flagship then,  it was powered by 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor and as for image display the X4 has a 5.20-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 424 pixels per inch.

Motorola Moto X4

The X4 has an array of Connectivity options at the users disposal including Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, USB OTG, Headphones, FM, 3G and 4G with support for Band 40.   Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Compass Magnetometer, Accelerometer and Gyroscope are some of the Sensors on the phone.

And for Mobile Phone users who need access to more than one network at any

given time e.g travellers, the Motorola Moto X4 is a dual SIM smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM.  

And all this is powered by a 3000mAh non removable battery.

The phone packs an impressive 64GB of internal storage expandable to as much as 200GB using a microSD card and it comes with 4GB of RAM.  The cameras packs a 12-megapixel main camera on the rear and a 16-megapixel front one for selfies, so Motorola did have the selfie-age in mind when producing the X4.

This is the somewhat latest part of Motorola's history in a nutshell, however from the early years?  It is a long and fascinating story, as for the pre-millennials at best can maybe only remember as far back as the original StarTAC or RAZR.  

Motorola RAZR
The Motorola RAZR best-selling clamshell of all time.

To say that Motorola had success with RAZR would be a complete understatement, the RAZR was yet another giant hit after the massive hit of the StarTAC, in 2004 when the RAZR was released what stood out the most is that it further pushed the boundaries of Mobile Phone size, emphasising on thinness and fashion, at the end of the day yet again, becoming the best-selling clamshell of all time.

When Apple blew everyone out of the water in 2007 when it reinvented the Mobile Phone into a full blown SmartPhone, Motorola had no choice, it had to get up-to speed with the SmartPhone revolution, so the company moved its focus to Google's Android operating system.  Its time for the early years.

The Early Years

Motorola, Inc. was created on September 25, 1928 at Schaumburg, Illinois by two brothers, Joseph and Paul Galvin, they called their company the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation who bought-out at auction for $750, the bankrupt Stewart Battery Company's manufacturing equipment and battery-eliminator plans.

The Founders of Motorola Paul and Joseph Galvin

They started in a small section of a rented building. The beginnings of the company was so humble that the working capital  had only $565 with just five employees and the first week's payroll was just only $63.  Very impressive for a company who became a global telecommunications player and ended up making history by inventing the Mobile Phone.

By 1962, Motorola had 14,000 employees worldwide and then by August 2000, Motorola reached its peak employment of 150,000 employees worldwide.

The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (Motorola's original name) in 1930

released the "Motorola" car radio two years after the company was founded in Chicago.  The same year it was released, the Motorola became Galvin's first internationally sold product, it initially offered the battery eliminator that allowed battery-powered home radios run off of household electricity.

Vintage Motorola Car Radio

Wireless network equipment like signal amplifiers and cellular transmission base stations is what the firm offered at first including broadcasting networks and home like digital video recorders and set top boxes, High Definition (HD) televisions, network equipment to broadcast videos and computer telephony.

In 1947, the company dropped the name Galvin Manufacturing Corporation of its founders, and changed it to Motorola as they fancied a punchier name, which they got from the name of the their early car stereo -- the "motor" was pulled from "motorcar" added to "ola" to signify "sound in motion," according to the company tag line.

It was the company's destiny to become MobilePhone makers as they embraced all things radio which they produced for home use, police cars

 and the walkie-talkie, which saw action on the battlefields of WWII.  Starting in 1958, with Explorer 1 Motorola supplied radio equipment for most NASA space-flights for decades, including assisting by providing the radio technology for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing from where Neil Armstrong

said the famous words "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" from the Moon's surface on a Motorola transceiver.

The bottom line here is that with all these wireless technological innovations displayed by Motorola, the birth of the Mobile Phone beckoned and was inevitable,but, by no other, only by them.


The present "batwing" logo was introduced in 1955 created by award-winning Chicago graphic designer Morton Goldsholl in late 1954.

Motorola "Batwing" Logo

Motorola developed and supplied many products used by the government, public safety officials, business installments, and the general public. These products included MobilePhones, computer processors, laptops,  and radio communication devices.

In 1991, Motorola showed of the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard in Germany.  And then In 1994, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system.