The modern mobile era began in 2007 with the release of the first iPhone. But Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, the mobile web, or even the app store. It wasn’t even the first to sell a smartphone to the everyday consumer.
In 2002, T-Mobile launched the Sidekick, a smartphone that featured a full keyboard, an email client, a custom mobile web browser, and an AOL Instant Messenger Client. It sold for about $200 when paired with a wireless contract, with monthly plans starting at around $40 a month.
T-Mobile tried hard to position the phone not as a toy for geeks and business people, but as a cool lifestyle gadget. The company shelled out for an extensive advertising campaign and the phone appeared in many TV shows, probably through product placement deals (see video above). The hype culminated in a commercial that featured a ensemble cast of celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Burt Reynolds, and Jason Acuña.