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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Pocket Phone (or pocketphone)  
  A telephone that is not hard wired to the network; a mobile or cell phone.  

In this brief quote, Robert Heinlein not only imagines the modern day cell phone, he also foresees the main problem with them. The quote is taken from Lost Legacy, one of the four novellas in this story collection.

"How come," he asked as he came abreast, "they had to search for you?"

"Left my pocketphone in my other suit," Coburn returned briefly. "Did it on purpose - I wanted a little peace and quiet. No luck."

From Assignment in Eternity, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Signet in 1953
Additional resources -

This is one of the first mention of a portable phone usable by ordinary civilians. Also, it specifies that the phone is small enough to actually put in your pocket. Here's another mention of a phone that fits in your pocket from Podkayne of Mars, also by Robert Heinlein.:

He patted my hand. "Cheer up, Flicka. Always remember that, when things seem darkest, they usually get considerably worse. He took his phone out of his pocket and made a call. "This is Senator Fries. I want the Director... I just called to tell you that I'm coming by to stuff you into one of your own helium tanks. Oh, say about fourteen or a few minutes after. That should give you time to get out of town. Clearing." He pocketed his phone.

As far as I know, the first reference to a pocket-sized telephone is in Heinlein's 1948 novel Space Cadet - the portable telephone.

Just to put some historical perspective on this one, in 1964 the closest thing to a portable telelphone was a radiotelephone, which was typically the size of a couple of shoeboxes.

Bell System engineers made the first transatlantic radiotelephone call in 1915; it used huge towers and lots of power. The original VHF Squad Radios from WWII were originally designed to be used while riding a horse! The first cellular phones were demonstrated in 1973.

Present day radiotelephones may operate at any frequency where they are licensed to do so, though typically they are used in the various bands between 60 MHz and 900 MHz.

For the WWII generation, a telephone was a fixed object affixed to a wall, or wired into one. It took real effort of the imagination to see a phone you could just put in your pocket.
(Thanks to Victor Ramirez for this item.)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Assignment in Eternity
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Assignment in Eternity
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Pocket Phone (or pocketphone)-related news articles:
  - Nokia Morph Cell Phone Concept

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