History > Timely Achievements

Motorola milestones

February 2015

15 years ago – 1999

1iDEN i1000plus Handset- Introduced in 1999, Motorola's iDEN i1000plus handset was the world's first to combine a digital phone, two-way radio, alphanumeric pager, Internet microbrowser, email, fax and two-way messaging.

Motorola iDEN i1000plus portable handset, 1999.

Motorola iDEN i1000plus portable handset, 1999.

January 2015

85 years – 1930
First Motorola Brand Car Radio – In 1930 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation introduced the Motorola radio, one of the first commercially successful car radios. Company founder Paul V. Galvin created the brand Motorola for the car radio—linking "motor" (for motorcar) with "ola" (which implied sound). Thus the Motorola brand meant sound in motion.

First Motorola brand car radio, close-up of tuner

First Motorola brand car radio, close-up of tuner (control head). The tuning control of the first Motorola brand car radio was mounted on the steering column.

December 2014

40 years ago – MC6800 Microprocessor- In 1974 Motorola introduced its first microprocessor, the MC6800 8-bit model. The MC6800 microprocessor was used in automotive, computing and video game applications.


November 2014

85 years ago the year – Early Motorola Home Radios- In addition to battery eliminators, in 1929 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation produced a few home radios with various nameplates for resellers and stores. Business slowed after the October 1929 stock market crash.


October 2014

20 years ago – Cyrillic-Language Pager- Motorola introduced the Advisor alphanumeric pager in Russia in 1994. It could receive Cyrillic-language characters.


September 2014

75 years ago this year – National Motorola Advertising. The first Motorola U.S. national advertising campaign was underway by 1938. The campaign included print media, road signs and billboards.


August 2014

15 years ago – Timeport World Phone The 1999 Motorola Timeport L7089 phone operated on all three GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) digital radio bands. People could use the same Timeport phone when travelling to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.


July 2014

30 years ago – MC68020 Microprocessor
In 1984 Motorola introduced the MC68020, the world's first true 32-bit microprocessor. The MC68020 microprocessor contained 200,000 transistors on a three-eighths-inch square chip.


50 years ago – Television Commercials
In 1964 an advertising campaign for Motorola televisions premiered on 288 ABC television stations during prime-time programs such as "Ben Casey," "The Fugitive," "Ozzie and Harriet," "The Flintstones," "Jimmy Dean" and "Wide World of Sports."

May 2014

10 years ago – Push-To-Talk Over Cellular
In 2004 Motorola introduced its unique cross-technology Push-To-Talk over Cellular (PoC) product line that gave subscribers connectivity among GPRS, CDMA2000 1X and WiFi networks.

APRIL 2014

25 years ago – MicroTAC Personal Cellular Telephone
In April 1989 Motorola launched the MicroTAC personal cellular telephone, then the smallest and lightest model on the market. It weighted 12.3 ounces (349 grams).

Motorola MicroTAC Personal Cellular Telephone

MARCH 2014

30 years ago
Motorola introduces complete line of cellular portable and mobile telephones. Introduction of DynaTAC 8000X portable cellular telephone to consumers – Motorola offered a complete cellular telephone system in 1984; including portable models (starting at US$3,995), car phones and transportable phones.

Vehicular Cellular Phone – In 1984 Motorola's DynaTAC 6000X vehicular cellular telephone featured a 14-digit LED display, 99-number phone book, programmable keypad and alert mode that signalled incoming calls by activating the vehicle's horn or lights.

Motorola DynaTac portable cellular telephone


15 years ago – iDEN i1000plus Handset
Introduced in 1999, Motorola's iDEN i1000plus handset was the world's first to combine a digital phone, two-way radio, alphanumeric pager, Internet microbrowser, email, fax and two-way messaging.


20 years ago – iDEN Digital Radio
In 1994 Motorola introduced iDEN digital radio, the world's first commercial digital radio system that combined voice dispatch, cellular, paging and data communications in a single radio network and handset.

50 years ago – Pageboy Pager
In 1964 Motorola introduced the transistorized Pageboy pager, a standard tool for business.


60 years ago
The Motorola TV Hour

A biweekly television drama, premiered in 1953. Motorola Executive Vice President Robert W. Galvin hosted the program and presented the company's current and future technologies during commercial breaks.

Moto TV Hour

The "Motorola TV Hour"

30 years ago
Motorola's First Cellular System

Motorola's first DynaTAC cellular system began commercial operation in 1983. Over the previous 15 years, the company invested more than $100 million in cellular technology research and development.

25 years ago – DSP96001 Digital Signal Processor
Motorola introduced the 32-bit DSP96001 digital signal processor in 1988.

DynaTAC Cell System

The DynaTAC Cell System


70 years ago – Bandit Pager Factory
In 1988 Motorola's flexible automated Bandit production line allowed Bravo pagers with different specifications to be manufactured on a single production line, which reduced manufacturing time and increased product quality.


30 years ago – Phones for First U.S. Commercial Cellular Phone Service
Ameritech Mobile Communications [now AT&T Mobility] launched the first U.S. commercial cellular mobile (car) phone service in Chicago on October 13, 1983. The system used Motorola mobile (car) cellular phones.

40 years ago – Scalatron Electronic Organ
In 1973, Motorola introduced the Scalatron two-manual electronic organ. Containing a mini-computer, it could be tuned to several microtonal scales, which provided flexibility in musical performance.

First Motorola Public Stock Offering
Galvin Manufacturing Corporation sold its first Motorola public stock in 1943 for US$8.50 per share.


30 years ago
World's First Commercial Portable Cellular Phone

The world's first commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC phone, received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on September 21, 1983. The 28-ounce (794-gram) phone became available to consumers in 1984.

Motorola DynaTAC

Motorola DynaTAC 8000X commercial portable cellular phone, 1983.

First Hands-Free Cellular Phone Operation
In September 1983, Motorola introduced the VSP Vehicular Speaker Phone, the first hands-free cellular phone product for a car. The VSP technology was incorporated in Motorola’s DynaTAC mobile (installed in the car) cellular phone.

Founding of Company – 85 years ago
On September 25, 1928, Paul V. Galvin and his brother, Joseph, incorporated Motorola's founding company—Galvin Manufacturing Corporation—in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Battery Eliminator
Galvin Manufacturing Corporation's first product was a 1928 battery eliminator. This power converter allowed battery-powered radios to run on household electricity. The company’s first customer was Sears, Roebuck and Co., which sold battery eliminators to consumers.

Battery eliminator

Battery eliminator, circa 1928. The battery eliminator was Galvin Manufacturing Corporation's (later Motorola) first product.


20 years ago
FLEX Digital Paging

Motorola introduced FLEX digital paging system technology in 1993. The new technology allowed pagers to receive email and computer text.

JUNE 2013

50 years ago
World's First Truly Rectangular Color TV Tube

In 1963 Motorola introduced the world's first truly rectangular color TV picture tube. The tube (pictured at left), developed in a joint venture with National Video Corporation, quickly became the industry standard.

MAY 2013

50 years ago
The "Young Couple Stereo"

The affordable 1963 Motorola model SK99 and SK100 coffee table-styled console stereo sets, nicknamed "young couple stereos" for their popularity among newlyweds, and became best sellers.

APRIL 2013

40 years ago
World's First Portable Cellular Demonstration

On April 3, 1973, Motorola publicly demonstrated the world’s first portable cellular telephone and system. The first public calls using Motorola DynaTAC (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) technology occurred in New York City.

MARCH 2013

25 years ago
First U.S. National Quality Award

Motorola was one of three winners of the first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988. The U.S. Congress established the award to recognize and inspire the pursuit of quality in American business.


10 years ago
A760 Cellular Phone

Introduced in 2003, the Motorola A760 cellular phone was the world's first handset to combine a Linux operating system and Java technology with full PDA functionality.


75 years ago this year
Augusta Boulevard Facility

Galvin Manufacturing Corporation's first company-owned facility at 4545 West Augusta Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, USA, served as the company's headquarters from 1937 through 1959.

Motorola Home Entertainment Radios Galvin Manufacturing Corporation entered the home entertainment business in 1937 with a line of Motorola phonographs and home radios.


April 3, 1973 – World's First Portable Cellular Demonstration
On April 3, 1973, Motorola publicly demonstrated the world's first portable cellular telephone and system. The first public calls using Motorola DynaTAC (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) technology occurred in New York City.

Want more? Read the original news release (PDF) or download Facts about the DynaTAC (PDF).

More information about Motorola Heritage Services

The Motorola, Inc. Legacy Archives Collection (1928-2010) will be shared by both companies and will continue to reside in Schaumburg, IL. The Legacy Archives Collection is still activity managed and continues to acquire materials created before the separation.

New archives collections documenting Motorola Mobility, Inc. from 2011 forward will also reside in Schaumburg and will have their own professional archivist who has access to all the collections.