Back in the 80s! When mobile phones cost $11,000

Telstra is today celebrating 25 years since the launch of Australia’s first hand-held* mobile phone.

Back in 1987, the Walkabout weighed in at three quarters of a kilo and cost a pretty $5,200 (that's $11,129.72 in today's money, according to the RBA). For that price you got a phone that didn’t need to be mounted in a car (!) and gave you a whopping 20 minutes of talk time and 4 to 5 hours of battery life.

Obviously the street cred brought to the owner of the phone was immeasurable: “I just bought this new phone! I’m now in the esteemed company of two men who look like crash-test dummies and a guy with a calculator strapped to his chest. I’ve made it!”

*We use the term “hand-held” loosely. Clearly you need to be rocking serious muscles (and a mullet) like the fellow in this photo to hold such an immense device.

This retro phone featured an "ear-piece located for vertical handheld use" and function keys, including "on/off"!

Another early-model phone known as the Attache.

Check out this news spot from 1987 (care of News Limited) which showcases the phone. It's worth sticking through the ad at the start to see some truly retro footage.

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