The Orbitel 901 cell phone was used to receive the first ever text message "Merry Christmas" on December 3, 1992.
Text messaging is a standard form of communication these days. Over 160 billion texts are sent each month in the US alone by mobile phone subscribers! This week it turned 19 years old.
Text messaging was first used on December 3rd 1992, when Neil Papworth, a 22 year old test engineer for Sema Group UK, used a personal computer to send the text message "Merry Christmas" via the Vodafone network to the phone of Richard Jarvis. The technical term for a text is "SMS message". SMS stands for Short Message Service and has evolved to include pictures, video, and sound. (MMS or Multimedia Message Service)
The devices that we text on have certainly evolved as well. A few years ago we had to use multiple key pushes on a number pad to create words...this sparked a full set of abbreviations to get a message conveyed faster with less effort. "LOL", "BTW", and "TTYL" are still commonly used even though most phones now have full QWERTY style keypads.
On a side note, be on the lookout for full reviews of four new AT&T smartphone later this week. Phones that will make you want to text your mom or maybe even that cute guy or gal from the office.
Happy 19th Birthday to the text meassge...and remember not to text and drive!