Matti Makkonen, a Finnish engineer, invented SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984. However, he never patented his idea though in 2008, Makkonen won the Innovation Award from Economist magazine.
SMS was invented with few goals, including to make for a Simplified Messaging System, allow users to receive messages even if the phone was off and/or out-of-range. First SMS message said “Merry Christmas!” and was sent in 1992 from a PC to a GSM network phone.
Some other interesting facts include:
- Nokia made the first handset that could send SMS messages.
- In the UK, users could only send messages to others within the same network. This restriction was lifted in 1999.
- In 2010, SMS messaging reached 193,000 texts per minute.
- 41% of men and 44% of women prefer SMS over calls
- In 1995, average person sent 0.4 texts per month, the number that grew to 357 texts per month.
These and some other details are neatly presented in the infographic below.