The Simon was the first real attempt by the tech industry to create a "Swiss Army Knife" type of phone that incorporated voice and data services into one package, as the device acted as a mobile phone, a PDA and even a fax machine (remember those?). What's more, the device even had a touchscreen that could be used to dial phone numbers, making it a true pre-pre-pre-precursor to the iPhone that would come 14 years later. The downside? Well, one Simon owner describes it as "brick-like, huge and heavy." And its original retail price was (eep!) $899. If you wanted a smartphone in 1993, you were probably better off waiting 17 years and paying $200 for an iPhone 4.
Republished with permission from Network World (view original version)