The Hundred-Year Journey from Telegraphy to Rugged Smartphones


There is no doubt that the invention of the wireless telegraph and, later, the means to transmit the spoken word over a telephone line marked a revolution in personal communications. However, at the time, few would have anticipated that phones would become wireless or the subsequent evolution of a brick-sized cellular phone into a compact, multifunctional rugged smartphone.


In practice, while the first patent for a mobile phone was issued as far back as 1908 and the first working device made its appearance during the 1940s, these early models were neither telephones nor, strictly speaking, mobile in the way we understand the term today. Instead, they were rather limited, two-way radios and their claimed mobility derived from the fact that these units were fixtures fitted to taxis, police cars and other emergency vehicles.


The Inception of Mobiles


Cellular telephony, as we know it today, was born some four decades before the founding of Blackview and its iconic rugged smartphone. The groundbreaking device that was to herald the dawn of a second communications revolution was produced by Motorola and weighed in at just over a kilogram. In 1973, the company’s general manager, Martin Cooper, became the first person to make a public call using a genuinely mobile telephone – an event which would lead, in time, to a global market with an annual value of more than US$500 billion.


Today, the total number of these mobile communication devices worldwide now exceeds 14 billion or close to double the number of humans on the planet. Interestingly, while Blackview’s rugged smartphone is something of an exception, given its importance in certain sectors, most are used mainly for functions other than voice calls.


It took nineteen years from that historic first call for a Vodafone engineer to design the small message service (SMS) and a further six before the first downloadable ringtone appeared. Since then, a seemingly endless torrent of mobile apps has been fuelling the demand for more and more storage capacity. While new models and relatively short service contracts have encouraged owners to seek regular upgrades, for many of those who own one of the less rugged smartphone models, the new purchases were only necessary to replace a damaged unit.


Toughening Up


The oversized models with their protruding antennae have largely become museum pieces, no longer compatible with modern GSM networks. In their place, many of the convenient pocket-sized units have settled for a less than robust build in favour of sleek lines. In this case, their beauty frequently comes at a price. In many cases, a short drop on to a hard surface will be enough to damage a touchscreen and render a brand new phone unusable. By contrast, armed with one of the rugged smartphones from the Blackview range, such accidental impacts would have had no effect.


Apart from providing the user with an inexpensive and highly convenient personal communication tool, the modern cellphone offers round-the-clock access to an almost infinite source of information via the Internet. It allows us to check emails on the move, play games, purchase goods, find directions, watch movies, and a host of other useful tasks. It’s little wonder that so many people remain glued to a 15-centimetre screen even when walking on a busy street. Collisions are common, as are broken phones and costly repairs or replacements. Choosing a more rugged smartphone could, at least, save people some unnecessary expense even though it might not encourage them to be any more attentive.


The Safer Choice


Such losses, however, seldom pose a serious problem for the average user who will often just need to transfer their SIM into an old and unsold unit still tucked away in a drawer. For some users, however, the consequences of lost communications can have more far-reaching consequences. Having no phone could mean the loss of a major business contract; failure to meet a deadline and incurring penalties; or even pose a threat to someone’s life. It is in situations like these that owning a robust smartphone can be not just a wise precaution but a vital necessity.


Take the case of a climber or a hiker in unfamiliar territory. Regardless of how experienced they may be, the unexpected can happen. An accidental trip or a sudden fall could result in a broken leg or ankle, leaving the individual in a potentially hostile environment and unable to walk. If the victim’s mobile were also to be damaged in the accident, without a means to summon the emergency services, that simple accident could become a death sentence. A more rugged smartphone is all it would have taken to avert this type of disaster.


In practice, these products are not just aimed at the needs of the adventurer. While it may not lead to a life-or-death scenario, on a construction site, a damaged cellphone could have equally serious consequences. This type of communication is often used to direct complex lifting operations from a vantage point with a better view than the operator. It may also be used to arrange deliveries at times vital to the success of a project. Construction sites, like mountains and hiking trails, can be accident black spots and are places where it will pay you to be sure that your smartphone is rugged enough to survive the tough conditions.


There are, of course, many other examples of locations in which access to a sufficiently robust communication device can be essential. The petrochemical industry, logistic companies and the manufacturing industry are just three of many more sectors in which the decision to dispense with ordinary phones and upgrade to one of these extra-strong mobile devices could prove invaluable. The Blackview range of rugged smartphone products is not only tough enough to withstand these environments but is also optimised for use in the noisy working conditions typical of most heavy industries, and boasts a seriously long battery life.


Though founded only in March 2013, the Hong Kong-based company, Blackview, has rapidly gained the status of a leader in this important specialist market. In keeping with its promise of innovative high-quality products, the company has recently launched the first 5G rugged smartphone in the world, thereby ensuring users better connectivity not only to virtually everyone but everything too, including various devices.


For more information on the Blackview range of smartphones, simply phone us at 087 551 1587 or send an email to