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British engineer Neil Papworth did the honors when he was just 22 years old. He sent the message "Merry Christmas" from his computer to his friend's Orbitel 901 mobile phone.

While "texting" had a slow start, eventually it surged in popularity, especially when it became cheaper than calling.

Texting is now the single most widely used application in the world. More than 80 percent of mobile phone subscribers text.