When Did Texting Begin?


Quick Answer

Neil Papworth sent the first text message in 1992. At the time, mobile phones did not have keyboards, so Papworth, a telecom developer, sent the text via computer. The first mobile phones with Short Message Service capabilities were sold in 1993.

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Full Answer

Nokia was the first mobile phone manufacturer to outfit its handsets with SMS-sending capability, which it initially did in 1993. The average American sent 0.4 texts per month in 1995 and 35 per month by 2000. Two Europeans, Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillabaert, developed the SMS concept in 1984. However, it wasn't until six years later that anyone tried sending a text message. That message read, "Merry Christmas." Papworth sent it to Richard Jarvis at Vodafone.

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