Happy Birthday Mr. Mobile Phone! Handheld mobile phones have come a long way from the first call made by inventor Martin Cooper on a Manhattan street corner in 1973, when a 2.2 pound, nearly $4,000 Motorola DynaTAC handset signaled a sea change in the way people would one day communicate with each other. He made the first call on April 3, 1973, while standing on Sixth Avenue in New York City, to Dr. Joel S. Engel, head of research at Bell Labs, Motorola’s main mobile phone rival that was concentrating more on car tech. For the first time, person-to-person communication (vs. place to place) was a reality. Cooper has said that he drew inspiration from “Star Trek” and Captain James T. Kirk, who used his communicator to dramatically issue orders to his crew.