Spokeo Blog

Evolution, not Revolution

Written by April 28, 2010

Nowadays, you don’t have to venture far to discover that the latest technologies are widely available among many people. Anytime a telephone rings in a crowd, everyone commences to check, then pull out, their latest smartphone. Whether it’s a Blackberry, Sidekick, Palm, Droid, I-Phone, or any of the diverse models available on the market today, the smartphone has become a commonplace feature of our modern landscape.

some of the smartphones available today

some of the smartphones available today

Today’s smartphones really are smart! Some of the features that come standard include email, Internet browsing, fully functioning operating systems, GPS, camera/video capability, organizers, calendars, full keyboards, mp3 players, games, and hundreds of other applications.

While many people are familiar with a smartphone’s seemingly endless uses, a lesser known fact is that smartphones have been around since the early 1990s. The first smartphone on the market was called Simon. Designed by IBM and shown at a Las Vegas computer industry trade show in 1992, it was then sold to the public by Bellsouth in 1993. Simon weighed over a pound and retailed for $900 in 1993 – to give you an idea, $900 in the 90s is the same as $1300 today!

simon in its charging dock

simon in its charging dock

Much like today’s smartphones, Simon was a mobile phone with many features such as a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail, fax capabilities, and games. Also like many of today’s smartphones, Simon used a touch-screen and an optional stylus.  

Of course, smartphones have come a long way since 1993, and the price, thankfully, has come down quite a bit, making them much more accessible to the average consumer. Nokia soon followed IBM’s Simon with its Nokia 900, with more and more advanced phones introduced in the 21st century.

Today, the best-selling smartphone on the market is Apple’s I-Phone. Released in 2007 after much rumor and speculation, the I-Phone weighs a mere 0.4 ounces and costs between $99 and $299. With its endless array of applications, Youtube and I-tunes capability, the I-Phone is popular for its user-friendly interface.

i-phone in its charging dock

i-phone in its charging dock   

The I-Phone was definitely not the first smartphone on the market, but it changed the game by making the smartphone more, well, fun! It’s a phone anyone can use. Although the I-Phone is revolutionary for its social impact, at its core, it’s mostly an evolutionary product, representing the latest technology of a long line of predecessors.


 telephone directory

telephone directory


In a lot of ways, what Spokeo is trying to do for people search is similar to what Apple did with the I-Phone. The goal is to make people-searching and networking less complicated, more user-friendly, and more accessible. We’re constantly evolving to keep up with consumer’s needs for a search engine that’s fun and easy to use.

Spokeo is not the first way people have searched for friends and family. People search has been around since the White Pages started delivering to doorstops. Search engines have been around since the early 1990s, allowing for information exchange like never before. Social networking was the next step in 2002, allowing for thousands of users to share their photos, favorite books and movies, and contact information with friends. Many people are familiar with Google Maps, using it routinely to look up directions or search for satellite images.

Never before, however, has all this wealth of information available readily on the Internet been compiled into an easy-to-use interface. Instead of visiting numerous sites to gather information, you can now visit just one website.

check us out at spokeo.com!

check us out at spokeo.com!

We’re always trying to improve our user interface to make it simpler and easier. We welcome your comments, thoughts, and suggestions.

Evolution, not revolution, is what we’re all about!

Posted in Tech Watch

Join the Discussion

  • Allison Gessup |

    I’m not sure exactly how you acquire your information, or whether it is accurate (I haven’t bothered to verify my own entry) but people’s personal credit scores and information is federally protected data. That’s why, to get your credit score, you have to provide your life story, SSN, etc — not just to collect the data, but to verfiy that it’s you. You also have to sign a release if your employer wishes to check your credit.

    I say all of this because: publication of another’s personal credit information, including their credit score, without a waiver or release is a felony. You should probably take that information down.

  • Katie |

    Dear Allison,

    Spokeo does not display, or have access to, credit score information, which is indeed not publicly accessible information. The wealth section is only an estimate, and does not display personal credit scores. Feel free to read our privacy policy for more information: http://spokeo.com/blog/spokeo-privacy/spokeo-privacy-policy/.

    Thank you.

  • Gregory Silver |

    Even If you still post “an estimate” of our financial information, it’s still exposing a very vital information that may be dangerous for us if other people get to know about this. Also, I have already removed my email accounts here, as you have posted in your privacy policy however, when I typed in my phone number, not only an “income” was posted but my location as well. I tried to remove that page by entering my url. Unfortunately, it says it can’t. I’m quite worried about this.

  • Katie |

    Hi Gregory,

    Thank you for your feedback. Go ahead and email our Privacy Team at: privacy@spokeo.com, so that they can take a look at your phone listing. If our system is unable to connect a phone number to a person, then a generic listing will be displayed with information based on the geographical area and area code. You may be unable to remove the listing because it is a generic one that is not associated with you in anyway. Thanks.

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