Rudy Krolopp, former design director for Motorola talks about the keys to successful design.
The world’s first commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1983, and was introduced to the public in 1984 at a retail price of $3,995 after testing in the Chicago market. The 28-ounce phone was designed by Motorola’s industrial design team headed by manager Rudy Krolopp. The concept of a cordless phone evolved from the Motorola SCR 536 “Walkie-Talkie” developed for military use in 1943. In 1972, Motorola demonstrated a portable cellular telephone system to the FCC, using a device developed by Martin Cooper. In 1989, Motorola debuted its MicroTAC phone, the world’s smallest and lightest at 10.7 ounces. It was also designed by Rudy Krolopp’s design team. By 1996, Motorola’s StarTAC weighed only 3.1 ounces and fit into the palm of the hand.