Decades

Our relationship to technology has changed a lot over time.

Storytelling doesn't have to follow a linear timeline. But here's a walk through the history of the mobile phone in chronological order.

Photo: NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Illustration: TTWW

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"Rip and replace" program targets Huawei & ZTE infrastructure

Worker shows Huawei Technologies equipment is still in place at United Wireless Communications in Dodge City, Kansas.

Various countries, led by the U.S., express concerns about Huawei and ZTE's ties to the Chinese government, leading to bans or restrictions on the company's 5G tech and...

Tech Wont Build It and #NoTechForICE

Image of protesters in New York holding signs that say "No Tech for ICE."

The tech worker labor movement rallied around these hashtags, which signal a growing awareness and activism around the ethical use of technology, especially in contexts that...

"Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over"

Screenshot of the iOS Siri interface showing the shortcut voice command "Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over."

The "Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over" shortcut was introduced for iPhones. Activated by voice command, it discreetly records police interactions, sends a location alert to...

Apple slows down older phones in 'batterygate'

Image of a person holding their iPhone plugged in to charge with the battery drain notification displayed on the phone.

Apple acknowledges that they slow down older iPhones through software updates. This acknowledgment reignites discussions about planned obsolescence, product longevity, and...

“The kids 'don't have email'”

– Anonymous, Unknown

Pokémon Go

A densely packed crowd of young people look at their phones to capture Pokémon in a hotspot in the UK.

Pokémon Go's augmented reality mobile game brought virtual and physical worlds together, showcasing the potential of mobile gaming and location-based experiences. The game...

Cell phone subscriptions surpass human population

Graph depicting the rate of mobile phone subscriptions surpassing the global population.

By 2015 there were more cell phones in use than people on Earth according to United Nations International Telecommunication Union Statistics. And by 2022, there were more...

Transform the tech industry from inside.

Take Action Photo of a hand holding the 2021 yearbook, which is a collection of the community’s work over 12 weeks.

Collective Action School has a grassroots theory of change. We believe the people who make the tech industry run—its workers—have the power to not only transform it, but to build and imagine new technologies. They welcome all tech workers—whether you’re a project manager, warehouse worker, software engineer, or ride share driver.

Year of the selfie

"Selfie" became the Oxford Dictionary's word of the year. Selfies, or self-portraits taken with mobile phones, became a global phenomenon, influencing pop culture and social...

Rise of encrypted messaging apps

Signal app, a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Messenger, displayed on a smartphone with Whatsapp and Telegram.

In the wake of the Snowden revelations, encrypted messaging apps have evolved from niche tools for privacy-conscious individuals to mainstream platforms integral to everyday...

Digital Right to Repair Coalition forms

Person wearing gloves removes a cracked screen from a phone.

Advocates for the right to repair mobile devices are pushing for legislation that would allow consumers to repair their devices independently. The Right to Repair movement...

Black Lives Matter

Protesters deploy a "Black Lives Matter" banner near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, DC, on June 6, 2020.

The Black Lives Matter movement is a political action committee, a social movement, a slogan, and a Twitter hashtag. Organizers use smartphones to document police brutality...

Labor protests at FoxConn smartphone manufacturing plants

Image of female chinese workers on the FoxConn assembly line.

FoxConn workers iPhone manufacturing facilities in Zhengzhou held walkouts on three separate days to protest working conditions at the plant. Foxconn is a large manufacturer...

BART blocks mobile networks to prevent protests

Photo of crowds of people at a BART station, including protesters grasping the roof of the train car, being pulled down by people in safety vests.

Authorities for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) blocked wireless signals in San Francisco stations to prevent protests. Demonstrators had planned to stop trains from running...

Arab Spring

A boy leading chants in Bahrain in Peter Snowdon’s 2014 film “The Uprising,” based on YouTube videos uploaded by protesters during the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring was a series of protests and revolutions that started in 2010 in the Arab world. It began in Tunisia and spread to countries like Egypt, Libya, and Syria....

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  • Sherri Johnson
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  • Xiaowei Wang
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  • Becky Russell
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  • Chelsey Petty-Dale
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  • Cody Brooks
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  • Willow Idlewild
  • *
  • Eli Pariser
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  • Emily Best
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  • Jasmine Sun
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  • Jim Remsik
  • *
  • Coraline Ada Ehmke
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  • Kris Boustedt
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  • Laura Kalbag
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