Today we live in the era of the smart phone with touch screens and flip keybaords. But all of these devices can trace their heritage back to IBM. In 1992, at COMDEX, IBM introduced the Simon, made in partnership with Bellsouth. By removing the keypad and incorporating a touch-sensitive LCD,, it broke the mold in what was expected in a mobile phone. With a DOS OS, it also included an array of applications, such as a calendar, calculator, address book and world clock. It even had the capabilty to send faxes!
All at a price of $899, with a Bellsouth cellular service activation, and $1,099 without.
With a brick like shape reminicient of the 1980s and weighing in at a pound, the smartphone had limited commercial appeal, especially considering its price. In the end only about 2000 were produced. Yet this primitive device is the great-great-great grandfather of every smartphone on the market.