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At the very beginning of Iron Man (2008) (and in other parts of the movie), we see Tony Stark, inventor of technology so advanced he can create a suit that builds itself, using a phone with a flip-out video screen.

Was this technology ever in use in real life? I know phones had pretty rudimentary cameras back then, but I don't recall any having this capability. Just curious if it actually existed or if it was made up for the movie.

screencap of Tony Stark using the phone described above

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3 Answers 3

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Yes

Identical or very similar technology existed at the time the movie was made.

The phone is very likely to be the LG VX9400 which is similar in style and was launched in January 2007 which makes it feasible that it was used in filming.

LG VX9400

(from user guide pdf)

The wikipedia page on this phone makes the claim that it was the one used in the movie.

As does this PC Magazine article

You can see the silver keyboard and the LG logo on this screencap

enter image description here

There were several phones pre the iPhone (and other devices with good touch screen technology) that had sliding or rotating screens which uncovered a keyboard allowing a large(er) screen and keyboard in a small device. The use of a device like this didn't strike me as being out of the ordinary for the time. It appeared (like his high-end Audi cars) to be product placement rather than future-tech.

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The Samsung Z130 (released in 2005) seems very close in design.

Samsung Z130

Image source: https://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_z130-pictures-1051.php

It is clearly not the same model, but looks close enough for me to answer YES.

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  • Interesting. gsmarena.com/samsung_z130-pictures-1051.php I recall it had a Verizon logo on it, I'll have to watch it again and see if the buttons look the same. Never knew this existed. Released in 2005, Iron Man came out 2 years later. Commented May 3, 2018 at 15:19
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Yes. Actually, I used that flip phone in 2006: ‘Cyon KH-1400’. (Cyon is a retired mobile phone brand under LG.)

Cyon KH-1400

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  • I don't think it is the KH-1400, unless there is a variant with silver color (particularly they keypad) since shots of Tony using the phone show it to be more like the LG. I wonder if they are related designs.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Mar 20 at 13:09

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