THE IBM Simon went on sale to the public on
To mark the 20th anniversary,
"The Simon wasn't called a smartphone back then," said curator
"But it had a lot of the features we see today. It had a calendar, it could take notes and send emails and messages and combined all of this with a cell phone."
Weighing in at 500g (1.1lb), the Simon was not exactly pocket-sized. However,
"It looks like a grey block but it's not as big as you'd imagine," she said. "It had a stylus and a green LCD screen, which is similar in size to the iPhone 4. In fact, it's not a bad looking thing."
It was only available to customers in
The device was particularly popular with members of the business community, who craved a transportable phone that doubled up as a mini-computer.
However, a hefty price tag and limited battery life contributed to its eventual disappearance from the market around two years after its launch.
"It only had an hour's battery, it was
Science museum The
The Simon will go on display this October as part of the Information Age exhibition - the first permanent gallery in the
More than 800 objects will be on display, illustrating how far communication has come over the past 200 years.
"It does remind us of that time. I definitely enjoy getting away from things and deliberately disconnecting myself," she said. "There's something quite nice about that."
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