35 years since the first ever mobile phone call in Ireland

Today, Friday 11th December marks 35 years since the first ever mobile phone call was made in Ireland by Jim Mitchell, Minister for Communications to RTE broadcaster Pat Kenny.

To celebrate this milestone, Ireland’s longest serving mobile retail brand, Carphone Warehouse is looking back on the evolution of the mobile phone and how we use it. In the 1980’s it was all car phones and brick phones, and with the cost coming in at around £3,000, they were few and far between. No one could have foreseen that mobile phones would become an extension of our work, home and social lives.

In a recent survey commissioned by the brand, looking at the mobile phone, how we use it and why we choose the ones we do, Carphone Warehouse found some interesting trends from favoured brands to most used apps and even celebrities we’d most like to prank!

In terms of brand favourites, 57% of respondents had a Nokia as their first mobile phone with just 2% having an iPhone. Interestingly, now 53% of those people have an iPhone as their current model, 30% using Samsung, 14% Huawei and just 3% accounting for other brands. (In a survey commissioned by Deloitte last year, it found that 91% of Irish people own a smartphone.)

When it comes to buying a new phone, 36% of people said the brand and 34% stated the offer, as the main considerations.

Looking back over the past quarter of a century, Carphone Warehouse saw many a trend come and go! Snake, the game launched by Nokia in 1997 was something of a cultural phenomenon and one of the first forms of entertainment on a mobile handset. It comes as no surprise then that two thirds of people said they have played the beloved pixel game.

Emojis launched soon after in 1999, although it wasn’t until the evolution of the smart phone and HD screens that they because what they are today. 94% of survey respondents say they use emojis with the Crying Laughing face being the most popular.

For years, a good ring tones was the best accessory you could have! 55% of people say they used to change their ring tone with the charts. Crazy Frog launched in 2003 and there was no escaping the piercing hum of the ring tone in public areas for years to follow.

Apps have ebbed and flowed over the years; Bebo anyone? However there are some that we just can’t get enough of. The mobile messaging app WhatsApp was launched in 2009, revolutionising messaging. No more draining your credit or racking up a bill, as the web based messaging service allowed us to communicate freely with users across the globe -provided you had access to WIFI or data.

Unsurprisingly, 71% of people say it’s their most used app today with Instagram coming in at number 2. Web browsers, Facebook, Spotify are the next most used.

When it comes to mobile mishaps, 94% of people have made the blunder of texting the wrong person and a whopping 54% of people have dropped their phones down the toilet!

Many of us have dreamed of calling our favourite celebrities for a chat but when asked which celebrity they’d most like to prank call, Taken star, Liam Neeson was the people’s first choice with Jedward & Paul Mescal coming in joint second place, followed by Anne Doyle and Bosco who came joint third!

This year more than ever, we have come to rely on our mobile phones more than we could have anticipated and through it all Carphone Warehouse has continued to share its independent advice to keep people connected.

Carphone Warehouse entered the Irish market in 1996 with the opening of their first store on Grafton Street. The brand was an immediate success and the number of stores rose to 20 by 2001. Carphone Warehouse has always been quick to respond to the Irish mobile customer’s needs, launching the website carphonewarehouse.ie in 2000 and moving into the ecommerce space in 2010. The company, now has 81 shops across the country with a presence in most major towns and cities. They also employ over 600 people and serve over 4 million customers each year.

Pauline Browne, Marketing & E-commerce Director at Carphone Warehouse said “We are a nation that loves to talk! Carphone Warehouse has been a part of the evolution of the mobile phone and as the longest serving mobile retail brand, has seen the sector grow and change with the times. From the era of the Blackberry to the launch of the first camera phone, and the introduction of smartphones when iPhone launched in 2007.”

“Throughout all the change, Carphone Warehouse has been consistent in simplifying the process for its customers in terms of what phone to buy, which network to choose and how to get the best value for money. It has been an exciting 24 years for the business and with our passion for technology, we look forward to seeing what the future of mobile will bring!”